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    Indian Monsoon Surges West, Lags East

    June 13, 2013, 6:45:17 AM EDT

    A lopsided advance of the 2013 South West Monsoon over the Indian Subcontinent has helped to yield some highly unusual weather this week.

    Isolated pre-Monsoon cloudbursts, some with damaging winds, hail and dust storms, have dealt out falls of rain sometimes amounting to many times the historical average amount for June in Pakistan and northwest India.

    The onset of the Monsoon has taken place as far north and west as about Karachi, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) website showed on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Historically, South West Monsoon onset has not typically happened at Karachi before the second week of July.

    At the same time, Summer Monsoon onset, as plotted by the IMD, has lagged several days behind the historical advance in the central Himalayas and eastern parts of the densely settled Ganges River basin. Most June rainfall as of the 13th has been insignificant to deficient, even where Monsoon onset has been declared by the IMD.

    Pakistan and northwestern India have benefitted from the early Monsoon onset, which has coincided with significant Monsoon low pressure over the northern Arabian Sea.

    Moist, rain-cooled air has broken the pre-Monsoon heat across the dusty plains, and some spots have received welcome soaking falls of rain.

    In Pakistan, hit-or-miss downpours missed the Sindh capital, Karachi. One did hit Pad Idan, where it left 60 mm of rain Wednesday. This was more than 20 times greater than the normal June rainfall, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) website.

    The hill town of Murree, Punjab, picked up 115 mm of rain in the two days ended Wednesday. Thus, most of the average June rainfall of 151 mm has already taken place.

    In northern India, parts of Punjab and Haryana have already got the first heavy falls of rain two to three weeks ahead of the historical average Monsoon onset.


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