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South-West monsoon advances into Karnataka

Bangalore(IANS): Rains hit coastal and interior areas of southern Karnataka early Wednesday as the south-west monsoon advanced into the state from neighbouring Kerala late Tuesday, though delayed by three days.

“Moderate to heavy rainfall has been reported since morning across coastal and south interior areas as monsoon clouds advanced and will cover other parts of the state by this weekend,” Bangalore meteorological department director B. Puttanna told IANS here.

Though the drought-hit state had an extended dry spell in the absence of pre-monsoon showers during May, rainfall is expected to be normal and widespread in the state due to strong wind movement from west to east and favourable atmospheric conditions over the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.

“As per our medium and long range forecast, the state will have a normal monsoon this year, with heavy rainfall in the coastal and southern districts, moderate to heavy in central parts and moderate to light in the northern districts,” Puttanna said.

Being a monsoon-dependent state for agriculture and hydel power generation, the administration in the coastal and southern districts will start coordinating sowing operations by farmers and facilitate rejuvenation of water bodies in lakes and tanks by rain-harvesting methods.

“If the monsoon gathers momentum and spreads as per forecast across the state, the coastal region will have about 800-900 millimetres (mm) rainfall by this month-end, while it will be 500-600 mm in the southern interior areas and 100-120 mm in Bangalore,” Puttanna pointed out.

Giving forecast for the next 48 hours, the met official said heavy to very heavy rain would occur at isolated places over coastal and hilly areas of the state and moderate to heavy with thundershowers at most places in central parts of the state.

“With the onset of the monsoon, squally weather with wind speed up to 50-60 kmph would hit the coastal area during the next 24 hours,” Puttanna added.

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