Monsoon Come

India Monsoon Forecast 5-June-12

So, the monsoon is upon us again — almost.

The newspapers here had been talking over the past week about how it would be “late”… it’s supposed to arrive in Kerala (first place of landfall) on 1st June. It’s now 5th June and you can see from the map that the actual (green) is 4-5 days behind the predicted time in red dotted lines. According to the map it’s coming in from the South-West, as expected, and has arrived at the Western Ghats mountain range.

(Bangalore is bang in the middle, between the green horizontal line and Mangalore on the left, and the black horizontal line and Chennai on the right.)

Regardless of the timing, everyone seems to be relieved it’s here. But particularly farmers, who rely enormously on the arrival of the rains to sustain their crops, and a late monsoon can affect yields very badly.

Also relieved will be our friends in the North, where there’s been a heatwave recently. Talking to a colleague in Delhi on a recent Saturday afternoon, she said it was 46 celsius there daytime max, and not even falling below 30 at night. Ouch! (Especially when there are constant power-cuts and you have no air conditioning…)

The hottest I’ve ever experienced myself was 44 in Athens, while backpacking around in the late 1980’s, and all I can remember of that was that I had to have 2 cold showers a day, and that elderly people were dropping dead in the street.

The weather in Bangalore has been great for the past couple of days though… about 30 degrees and sunny with blue skies, but a few welcome white puffy clouds and a cooling breeze, coming from the South-West which is the signature of the arriving monsoon. Brits would probably consider this a “perfect summer’s day”, although maybe a bit warm. It certainly makes a very welcome change from the typical 35 degrees and low humidity of April-May.

I guess the proper rains will arrive here in another 3-5 days… the monsoon itself moves in bursts apparently. Tonight the winds were getting stronger and the clouds bigger and darker. I’d always imagined the onset of the monsoon as being dramatic, and involving huge, foreboding clouds appearing on the horizon — maybe it is in Kerala or elsewhere on the coast, but here in Blore the climate is generally moderate, and many people tell me that’s why they like to live here.

Despite the supposedly-late timing, if I look back at my blog from this time last year I notice that my last entry on this subject was also on 5th June!

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