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Cloud over crop season as monsoon misses onset date in India

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Cloud over crop season as monsoon misses onset date in India

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IMD, earlier this month, forecasted May 27 for the onset of monsoon with a model error of plus minus three days.  

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the onset of this year's monsoon — originally expected on May 27 in Kerala — will be delayed, though by how long is something weather experts doesn't know currently.
Sources at IMD, familiar with the situation, told CNBC-TV18 that the delay in monsoon onset has been caused as the favorable criteria in Kerala were not met. Monsoon moves in a particular direction - from cold to hot. Thus, stability in wind is an essential requirement for arrival of monsoon.  
GP Sharma, President, Meteorology & Climate Change, Skymet Weather Services, who had last week forecast that monsoon would arrive a few days eary in India, now concedes that he may have to "retract my words". He added: "It rolls over to next week as such, but then it's looking very slow, sluggish onset progress, initial days."
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Sharma said the number of days monsoon would be delayed remains a question. "We may have to go to the first week of June also. I won't be surprised even if it goes to the first few days of June also — meaning that for the next one week similar pattern will prevail and it will take some time for it to reach Kerala," he said.
For an agricultural economy like India, monsoon holds immense significance.  Monsoon in India, which usually begins by June 1, is critical for the Kharif crops sown in at the start of June, with the onset of the monsoon.
At a time when India is already grappling with wheat shortage, delayed rains add to the vows of the government and the poor and backtrack the economy of the agri-nation. India had recently banned wheat and sugar exports to meet domestic demands and cap the rising prices.
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