(Eds: Incorporates high maximum temperatures)
New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) Southwest monsoon advanced into the Andaman and Nicobar islands on Monday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here, signalling the start of the four-month seasonal rains that are crucial to the largely agri-dependent economy.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands and adjoining areas have been experiencing rainfall due to strengthening south-westerly winds in the lower tropospheric levels, the weather office said.
The onset of monsoon over Andaman and Nicobar islands happened a day late as the IMD had earlier said that the seasonal rains would cover the region on May 15.
"Conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of south Bay of Bengal, entire Andaman Sea & Andaman Islands and some parts of east-central Bay of Bengal during next 2-3 days,” the IMD said in a statement here.
Northern parts of India, which were reeling under intense heat wave conditions on Sunday, also got a slight breather on Monday with Dholpur in Rajasthan recording the highest maximum temperature of 46.1 degrees Celsius.
The highest maximum temperature recorded at Banda in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday was 49 degrees Celsius.
At least 16 cities reported temperatures in excess of 44 degrees Celsius, the highest being Dholpur (46.1), followed by Jhansi (45.6), Nowgong (45.5), Bhatinda (45.1) and Varanasi, Patiala and Sidhi (45 each).
Under the influence of a western disturbance over central Pakistan, scattered to fairly widespread light/moderate rainfall with thunderstorm/lightning/gusty winds were very likely over Jammu-Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Monday and Tuesday.
The weather office had also forecast an isolated hailstorm over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Tuesday.
On the monsoon front, the IMD had forecast early arrival of the seasonal rains over Kerala on May 27, five days ahead of the normal onset date of June 1.
The presence of cyclonic circulations over Lakshadweep and north Tamil Nadu coast are expected to bring fairly widespread rainfall with isolated thunderstorm/ lightning/gusty winds with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over Kerala, Coastal & South Interior Karnataka during the next five days, it said.
The weather office said isolated heavy rainfall was expected over Tamil Nadu from Monday to Wednesday and over Lakshadweep area over the next two days. It said isolated extremely heavy falls are also likely over coastal & south interior Karnataka on Wednesday. PTI SKU SMN