New Delhi, June 29: The southwest monsoon is set to cover the entire country in the next two days, almost a fortnight ahead of what it would normally take, even as it reached northwest India, including Delhi.
"Generally, most of the country is covered by July 1, and only the northwestern-most part takes 15 days. This year, because of the western disturbance, we have a lot of rain in northwest India, which has helped in swift advancement of monsoon," said DS Pai, director for long-range forecasts at the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
"The south-west monsoon has further advanced into some more parts of the Gujarat region, most parts of east Rajasthan, some parts of West Rajasthan, entire Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, remaining parts of west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab," the IMD said.
"Conditions are favourable for further advance of the south-west monsoon into remaining parts of the north Arabian Sea, Gujarat, Rajasthan and thus the entire country during the next 2-3 days," the IMD added.
The monsoon reached Kerala on June 28, three days ahead of the normal onset date. It pounded the western coast in the first half of the month.
Last year the monsoon's arrival in Punjab and Haryana had been delayed by more than a week and it was only around July 12 that it had fully covered the two states.
This year, however, it arrived a day before of its expected arrival in the two states. The maximum temperature continued to hover a few notches below normal for the second day on Thursday, settling in the range of 29-35 degrees Celsius.
The monsoon, which was sluggish until last week, has revived and several parts of the country have been receiving rainfall. However, the overall monsoon deficiency across the country still stands at around minus 10 per cent.
Of the four meteorological divisions of the country, only the southern peninsula has recorded 29 per cent more rains.
The rainfall deficit was 29 and 24 per cent in east-northeast and northwest India respectively.
Of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions in the country, 24 subdivisions have received "deficient" and "largely deficient rainfall".
This means, less than 25 per cent of the country has received "normal" or "excess" rainfall.
According to the IMD, India is likely to receive a "better monsoon" than it did in 2017, with the entire country expected to see "normal rainfall" between 96 to 104 percent from June to September, officials said.
The southwest monsoon arrived in Kerala on May 29, three days ahead of schedule. It had advanced over eastern parts of the country on Tuesday last week before the hiatus. Weather officials said the break in monsoon's continuity, which would be 10-12 days, is a normal phenomenon.