New Delhi: The monsoon has almost covered the entire country a month ahead of schedule, brightening the prospects for a bumper output of summer-sown crops such as rice, oilseeds and cotton in one of the world's leading producers.

The rains usually cover all of India by mid-July, but this year it happened on June 16, the earliest such occurrence on record, a senior official at the India Meteorological Department said.

READ MORE: Monsoon covers India by mid-June, earliest ever: Met official

Monsoon arrived in Delhi on June 17, a fortnight ahead of schedule while parts of north India continued to receive heavy showers as the southwest monsoon advanced further into the central and north regions, IMD said.

The monsoon this year had set over Kerala on schedule on June 1 and advanced fast, covering the southern, eastern and central states within two weeks.

According to the reports, the monsoon rains have covered two-thirds of the landmass by Friday.

"The southwest monsoon was vigorous over Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Kerala, and active over Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana," the weatherman said.
The weatherman further said rainfall has been good in drought-hit regions with Marathwada getting 61 percent excess rain, Vidarbha (316), Madhya Maharashtra (88), North Interior Karnataka (39), South Interior Karnataka (41) and Saurashtra & Kutch 299 percent excess rains as of June 15.

Monsoon in different parts of India


The southwest monsoon arrived in Kerala on schedule on June 1. Notably, the southwest monsoon normally sets in over Kerala around June 1, and advances northwards, usually it surges, covering the entire country by mid-July.


In the national capital, monsoon reached 13 days ahead of schedule bringing relief from scorching heat but commuters were at the receiving end due to water-logging in various places. "The monsoon has reached Delhi," the MeT office said, adding seasonal rains lashed the capital almost two weeks ahead of its scheduled arrival on June 29.

Last year, the onset of monsoon was delayed by eight days. It had reached Delhi ahead of schedule in 2011 (June 26), but arrived late in 2010 (July five). While the earliest onset of monsoon in last 30 years in the capital was recorded in 2008 (June 15), the most delayed arrival occurred in 1987 (July 26). The weather office said 645.7 mm of rains is considered normal for the capital during monsoon.


Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir have also been receiving showers.

According to IMD director BP Yadav, there is nothing unusual about the showers and in the past too, the city had seen monsoon advancing by several days.

"It will be good for grain bowl states of Punjab and Haryana," Yadav said.

The monsoon rainfall is important for crop production in the country and has significant impact on the economy.

The months of June and July are the sowing season for Kharif (summer) crops like paddy and pulses.


The southwest monsoon reached Himachal Pradesh on June 15, with most of the the hill state experiencing moderate to heavy rainfall, the meteorological office said.

"The southwest monsoon arrived almost 10 days in advance in the state," Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office, said.

The monsoon normally hits the state by June 27, he said.

Last year it was delayed and reached the state July 5 and rainfall during that season was 11 percent deficient.

"From June 1 to June 15, the state normally gets 34 mm of rain but this time the state received 87.4 mm rainfall, which is 155 percent more than the normal (average)," he said.

All 12 districts, expect Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti, received excess rainfall during this period.

Una district recorded the excess rainfall of 411 percent during this period, the highest in the state, followed by Kangra (365 percent) and Sirmaur (319 percent).

Shimla district got 130 percent excess rains till date.

Himachal Pradesh's agriculture and horticulture-based economy is highly dependent on the monsoon.


In Uttar Pradesh, conditions were favourable for further advance of monsoon in the coming days, MeT officials said. On June 15, the state saw moderate to heavy rain and thundershowers at a few places along with very heavy rainfall at one or two places in the Moradabad division.

Rajasthan also received rains as the monsoon, after entering five days ahead of its schedule, advanced in the south-eastern parts of the state. Rajasthan saw the monsoon further advance in Udaipur, with the weatherman saying it was likely to cover several other parts of the state in the coming two days or so. The highest rainfall of 7-cm in the state was recorded in Sarada town while Churu and Sriganganagar, too, received showers, measuring 4.2mm and 2.9mm, respectively.


Releasing an update on the monsoon forecast, the weather office had said the country would receive normal and fairly distributed rain in July and August. Rainfall is expected to be at 101 per cent of long-term average in July and 96 percent in August. For the country as a whole, monsoon has been 43 percent excess till June 15 since onset over Kerala on June 1.


The strong start to the monsoon boosts prospects of robust farm output which could help the economy and hold down inflation, a critical concern for the UPA as it readies for assembly elections later this year and 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore had said on Friday that early onset of monsoon has led to early sowing, particularly of coarse cereals in last year's drought-hit regions.
"Whenever there is timely sowing, we have seen that the production is good. Particularly with respect to drought-hit regions of 2012 — the semi-arid corridor which produces coarse cereals - there has been early sowing," he said.
Also, the bright side for paddy crop is that with timely onset of monsoon nursery raising is in place. "This would facilitate early or timely cross planting," he said.
Rathore said for long-term crops like cotton, sugarcane and plantation crops the irrigation requirement has vanished due to good rains, which would lead to lower cultivation costs and healthy crop.


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