A moody beginning: Despite being early, initial signs indicate an erratic start to the monsoon season | Photo: IndiaPost

Monsoon season begins in India, three days early

Monsoon arrived three days early in India this year. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced the arrival of the southwest monsoon in Kerala on June 1. Progression of the monsoon will be slow, at least in the initial days, the IMD said. According to experts, however, the IMD was too hasty in making the announcement. The rainfall criterion was met for 24 hours and not for two days as is the norm, they said. The disruption in the early progress of the monsoon might be signalling a staggered and erratic distribution of rains in the first half of the season.

Valley of Flowers blooms early after premature melting of Tipra glacier

The Valley of Flowers, deemed a UNESCO site, which normally bloom in June, have bloomed prematurely in May. This is likely because the Tipra glacier, which usually melts in May, and ends up in the Pushpawati stream that waters the valley, began melting at the end of March. This was a result of rising temperatures. According to experts, a continuation of this trend could lead to an extinction of plants and growth of weeds.

Parts of northeast India more vulnerable to rainfall-driven soil erosion: Study

A new study found many parts of northeast India are more vulnerable to rainfall-driven soil erosion. The study by IIT-Delhi assessed rainfall erosivity across India. This kind of erosivity reflects rainfall’s potential to degrade soil. The study created a high-resolution map to mark vulnerable areas using precipitation datasets, both national and global, that covered 40 years of data. According to the researchers, a map of this kind will help expand the efforts to conserve soil in vulnerable areas.

91 killed in floods, landslides in northeastern Brazil

More than 100 people are suspected to be dead due to flooding and landslides in northeastern Brazil. The flood was triggered by heavy rains in the state of Pernambuco at the end of May. As a result, housing in poor neighbourhoods was wiped away. The IPCC has classified the capital of Pernambuco, Recife, to be one of the world’s most vulnerable cities with regards to intense rainfall.

High temperatures in the Atlantic and a prolonged la Nina set the stage for an “above average” atlantic season in North America

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted above-average hurricane activity this year. Hurricane season 2022, which stretches from the beginning of June to the end of November, is likely to see between 14 and 21 named storms, 6-10 of which could develop into hurricanes (including 3-6 major hurricanes with windspeeds of over 178kmph). NOAA has predicted a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. Realisation of NOAA’s forecast would make it the seventh consecutive “above average” hurricane season.