| Umbrellas are out as pre-monsoon showers lash Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Jamshedpur, June 18: The first official pre-monsoon shower debuted in Jamshedpur and Ranchi today with more than a tantalising teaser, signalling the arrival of the rainy season in the next 48 hours.
The capital and its adjoining areas experienced showers from 2.30 pm with the local Met office recording 10. 4mm of rain till 5.30 pm. Then, it drizzled steadily till 8.30pm, recording 13.8mm. Jamshedpur had a late start, almost 7pm, but the rains intensity 37.4mm till 8.30pm accompanied by thunder more than made up for the wait.
Weathermen at Patna Meteorological Office said that the northern limit of monsoon today came close to East Singhbhum district in the south and Pakur in the north.
Conditions are favourable for south-west monsoon to advance. We are expecting monsoon to arrive in Jharkhand in the next 48 hours. Several districts will start experiencing pre-monsoon rains from today, said A.K. Sen, joint director of Patna Met office.
The senior weatherman said a cyclonic circulation was also hovering over eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Cyclonic circulation 4.5km above sea level is a good indicator. It will push monsoon across Jharkhand and Bihar, he said.
A senior Met official at Ranchi chipped in saying that south-west monsoon had covered about three-fourths of Bengal and Odisha.
Over the next day, it will come nearer as conditions are conducive, he said, confirming that the onset of monsoon would take place around midweek.
But expect to get soaked, not drenched. In monsoons first phase this year, the showers will be moderate.
The Patna Meteorological Office and the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore, Calcutta, have both predicted moderate rain between June 20 and 27.
As the monsoon current is not very strong, it will yield rainfall ranging between 30mm and 40mm, but showers will be widespread, said a duty officer at Calcutta Met office. He added that satellite pictures indicated multi-layered rain-bearing clouds over many Jharkhands districts.
It comes as welcome news to a parched state, which was getting worried about a dry year after the bountiful 2011.
Data said most Jharkhand districts had seen a 90 per cent rain shortfall in the first two weeks of June. Rain from March to May in 2011 was also far from impressive. Norwesters and thundershowers were too few and far between.
Jamshedpur had received a meagre 21. 4mm of rain in the first two weeks of June, compared to 60.5mm last year. Between March and May, the city recorded 102 mm compared to over 200 mm last year.
Ranchis portion was even smaller. The capital received a meagre 8mm of rain in the first two weeks of June compared to around 50mm last year. Between March and May, the capital recorded less than 100mm this year, half of what it had received in 2011.
South-west monsoon arrives in Jharkhand between June 10 and 15, but this time weathermen had predicted a late show around June 20 with a scorching summer.
Todays monsoon prequel kept temperatures in check for the most part, with the maximum being 36°C in Ranchi and 38°C in Jamshedpur, lower than the raging forties. Dhanbad recorded 38.7°C, three degrees lower than yesterday. Bokaro and Daltonganj sweated it out at 44.4°C and 43°C.