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Monsoon rains to be delayed for Kerala; Northeast India to see early June arrival

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
May 26, 2019, 10:32:22 AM EDT

As extreme heat continues to affect millions of people across India, attention is turning to the upcoming monsoon season as people look for relief.

The southwest monsoon season, which occurs from June to September, brings most of the country's yearly rainfall which is vital to water supplies and agriculture.

The monsoon also brings an end to the dangerous heat that plagues much of India each year before its arrival.

India2 4/10

An Indian laborer takes a break to drink water from an earthen pitcher in a hot afternoon in Allahabad, India, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. The main summer months in India April, May and June are always excruciatingly hot across most of the country before monsoon rains bring cooler temperatures. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Unfortunately, a delayed start to the monsoon in southern India means that there is no immediate relief on the way.

The monsoon normally arrives in Kerala in the final days of May and first days of June; however, this year's rainfall is expected to be delayed.

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"The monsoon looks to reach Kerala around June 6th, but could be as late as June 10th," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

Despite the delayed arrival, AccuWeather.com meteorologists are predicting above-normal rainfall for the season across southwest India with up to 110 percent of normal rainfall.

Frequent downpours during the monsoon season will elevate the risk for flooding and mudslides across Kerala and neighboring Karnataka to the north.

India floods 1 Aug 17

In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 photo, an elderly woman is evacuated towards safer area in Thrissur, in the southern Indian state of Kerala. (AP Photo)

This comes after Kerala was battered by the worst flooding in decades during the 2018 monsoon season. Nearly 500 people lost their lives due to the flooding and their associated mudslides.

"The monsoon may be close to normal arrival in Myanmar but will likely be a day or two behind schedule in reaching Northeast India," said Nicholls.

Downpours are likely to reach Northeast India by the first week of June but may struggle to progress westward into Bangladesh.

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For the season as a whole, Nicholls predicts rainfall near to slightly above normal across eastern and India.

The delayed arrival of the monsoon in southern and eastern India will likely be a trend that continues during the months of June and July as rainfall slowly advances northwestward across the country.

The delay in rainfall reaching northwest India, including New Delhi, will lead to a shorter period of monsoon rainfall as rains are expected to withdraw at close to the normal dates. This will result in below-normal rainfall across much of northwest India, with near-normal rainfall in Kashmir.

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