India’s deadly heatwave nears end as monsoon arrives
Tuesday, June 09, 2015, 09:54 GMT -
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that monsoon rains had reached the southern state of Kerala on Friday 5 June – around 4 days later than usual.
Since then, the monsoon has only slowly progressed north-eastwards across the country.
In parts of eastern India, including Andra Pradesh - which was particularly hard hit by the heatwave, the monsoon rains are at least a week late.
The IMD have forecast a below average monsoon this year, with around 88% of rainfall expected over the next few months.
While a 12% deficit doesn’t sound that much, it would still have a huge impact on the country.
India relies on the annual monsoon for agriculture and it’s power supply, with a large proportion the country’s electricity supplied through hydroelectric power.
The last time drought year in India was back in 2009, when there was a 22% rainfall deficit.
2009 was thought to have had the 3rd worst monsoon since 1900, causing widespread crop failures and contributed to rapid rise in global food prices.
But with the arrival of the monsoon, temperatures have dropped across much of the country.
During the mid and late May, temperatures getting over 45C across much of the country with some areas coming close to 50C at times.
The high temperatures were thought to have led to at least 2,500 deaths across the nation, in what is likely to be the second deadliest heatwave in India’s history.
The monsoon rains are still weeks away from northern India, with highs into the 40s Celsius expected until then.
Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Ashobaa has formed ahead of the advancing monsoon front in the Arabian Sea to the west of India.
Ashobaa is set to track westwards over the next few days and could make landfall close to Muscat, Oman later in this week.Follow Chris Burton on Google+, Twitter