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Early rains greet Singh

New Delhi, May 21: Rain, or the lack of it, often holds the key to power. It augurs well for Manmohan Singh, who is set to take the reins of India tomorrow, that monsoon has reached India early this year.

A cyclone in the Bay of Bengal has sucked the monsoon closer, bringing early rains in several parts of the country, weather scientists said.

Having broken over Kerala more than 10 days before schedule, the southwest monsoon today advanced into the central and northern bay, the northeastern states and is expected to breeze into Karnataka within the next 24 hours.

The normal date for the onset of the monsoon in Kerala is June 1. “This cyclone (moving towards Myanmar) helped establish early just the right wind patterns that make up the monsoon,” Suresh Shrivastava, director-general of the Indian Meteorological Department said. “It’s good sign.”

Conditions are also favourable for isolated heavy rain in coastal and interior Karnataka and other parts of the southwestern Indian coast in the next 24 hours, the department said. Isolated rainfall is also expected in parts of Andhra Pradesh, central Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.

Shrivastava said the monsoon formally arrived in the Northeast yesterday.

The early onset of the monsoon, he said, is not unusual. In the past, the monsoon has hit Kerala up to 15 days in advance. Earlier this year, his department had predicted a normal monsoon — 100 per cent of the long-period average rainfall.

In about a month from now, scientists will issue a more detailed forecast that will predict the behaviour of the monsoon in each of four “meteorologically homogenous” regions of the country.

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