AccuWeather 2019 India southwest monsoon season outlook
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 22, 2019, 9:03:12 AM EDT
While deadly severe weather has been making news headlines, many may be wondering if the upcoming southwest monsoon season will bring a surplus or shortage of rainfall in India.
Showers and thunderstorms preceding the southwest monsoon deliver heat relief and rain during the typically drier spring months, as well as helping to briefly improve air quality.
However, it is the southwest monsoon season, which spans from June to September, that brings a distinct rainy season to the country, outside of southeastern India, and is essential for the region's water supply and agricultural industry.
For the season as a whole, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls anticipates near-normal rainfall across most of southern, eastern and far northern India.
The exceptions may be across the coast of Kerala and southern Karnataka, where a surplus is anticipated.
On the other hand, Nicholls anticipates drier-than-normal conditions across western and north-central India, which could spell eventual water shortages for these areas.
"The monsoon season may struggle in western Rajasthan, western Gujarat and southern Pakistan," said Nicholls. "These areas will get some rain, but the season can end with a deficit."
That is especially concerning for water shortages in western Rajasthan and Gujarat, since the 2018 southwest monsoon was drier than normal, as well.
8 warning signs that a landslide is about to strike
How to stay safe if you encounter wildlife after a flood
How a single lightning strike can claim many lives
3 long-term health dangers that flooding can pose to affected communities
Nicholls anticipates this year's southwest monsoon to behave similarly to 2018 across most of India.
"There will be active and break periods," he said. "In terms of timing, the onset of the monsoon should be on time or slightly late in southern India, but then will be slow to advance to the north."
The southwest monsoon typically begins in southern India around June 1.
July and August should bring fairly typical rainfall to most of India when the monsoon is in full swing.
"There can be a swath of dryness across central India, in the vicinity of Maharashtra and Telangana, in July," Nicholls said. "Storms can bring rounds of rain to northern India this month, but the heaviest rain and greatest concerns for flooding will be along the southwest coast."
Despite the long-term advantages of the monsoon, residents are faced with the hazards of severe flooding, landslides and lightning strikes each monsoon. Hundreds of people have been killed each year amid the monsoon downpours.
"Prior to the monsoon, more storms may target northwestern India in early May and prevent heat waves from being as long-lasting as in recent years," Nicholls said.
AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to monitor each of these storms for any severe thunderstorm risk.
Severe thunderstorms are being blamed for the deaths of more than 50 people across northern India from Rajasthan and Gujarat to Bihar on April 16-17, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Drier weather and building heat are expected to build across northern India this week. Temperatures in the National Capital Region (NCR) can soar to or past 40 C (104 F) by the second half of the week.
Looking ahead to late May or early June, Nicholls is also concerned for potential tropical development in the Bay of Bengal.
"While that does not guarantee a direct impact on India as any cyclone could track more toward Bangladesh or Myanmar, a strong cyclone may stall the advance of the southwest monsoon across India," said Nicholls.
Download the free AccuWeather app to find out the temperature and weather trends for your community over the next 90 days.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 9:38:21 PM EDT
Another round of severe thunderstorms struck the Texas Panhandle on Thursday afternoon. However, one storm set itself apart from the rest, putting on a spectacular display of clouds over Lubbock, Texas.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 4:11:48 PM EDT
After severe weather outbreaks hammered areas from Texas to Kansas and Missouri earlier this week, more severe weather and flooding will threaten these same areas into the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 3:13:32 PM EDT
Rounds of showers and thunderstorms, some of which can turn severe, threaten to spoil festivities across the midwestern and northeastern United States this Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 5:12:05 PM EDT
New York's governor sounded the alarm this week, but the issue is 'a Great Lakes-wide problem' -- and it's all caused by weather.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 2:58:11 PM EDT
On the heels of short-lived Subtropical Storm Andrea, there are indications that another storm may take shape at the end of May or start of June -- just in time for the start of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 2:37:56 PM EDT
‘The next two weeks are critical,’ said an AccuWeather analyst
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 11:40:22 AM EDT
A severe weather outbreak unfolded on Wednesday afternoon and night from Oklahoma to Illinois, producing devastating tornadoes that wreaked havoc in Missouri.
Weather News - May 23, 2019, 10:48:15 AM EDT
The first named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season came and went with barely a whimper -- which raises the question of whether it really deserved a name.