Delhi will have to wait for another two to three days before welcoming the monsoon. The city is expected to receive normal rainfall, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday. However, Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, said the monsoon may take at least a week longer to reach the city.
On Wednesday, the weather office said the monsoon was likely to get delayed further and hit the Kerala coast only on June 8.
"Normally, the monsoon reaches Delhi by June 29. Since there's a delay in its onset in the southern peninsula, the wind system is likely to take two-three days longer to reach northwest India," weather department's regional weather forecasting chief Kuldeep Srivastava told news agency PTI.
"The good news is the factors that aid the progress of the monsoon, including the southwesterly winds and the Somali jet stream, are gradually becoming active," he added.
Northwest India is likely to see normal rainfall during the monsoon season, Mr Srivastava said.
Mahesh Palawat, senior vice president and meteorologist at Skymet Weather, said, "It's difficult to say when will it reach Delhi, but it's expected to get delayed by at least one week."
"The progress of the monsoon will be sluggish due to formation of low-pressure area in the Arabian Sea," he added.
After the onset of the monsoon, a low-pressure area is expected to develop over the Arabian Sea and it may intensify into a depression gradually. Whenever any such intense weather system develops over the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea, the moisture-laden winds start converging around it, affecting the progress of the monsoon.
"The rainfall is expected to remain on the lower side of normal over Delhi. Since, it's a small area, one or two good spells of rains may make up for the deficit. But any surplus rain is ruled out," Mr Palawat said.
The three-month pre-monsoon season - March, April and May - ended with a rainfall deficiency of 25 per cent.
Pre-monsoon rainfall is vital to many parts of the country. In states like Odisha, ploughing of fields is done in the pre-monsoon season and in parts of northeast India and the Western Ghats, it is critical for plantation of crops.
Monsoons are desperately awaited in the country as an intense heat wave is rapidly drying up reservoirs and sending temperatures soaring across the country. Last week, Rajasthan's Churu recorded scathing temperatures of 50.8 degree Celsius which was nine degrees above normal.
Monsoon rains are expected to be normal this year, the weather office had said last week, which should support agricultural production and economic growth.
(With inputs from PTI)