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Monsoon is likely to cover the entire country in the next 48 hours, the Met department said, as the rain-bearing system raced through the hill states to reach Jammu and Kashmir while closing in towards Delhi.
The department has issued an orange alert for the tourist states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, where heavy showers are expected over Thursday and Friday. An orange alert is a notch below the highest red alert.
“We are expecting heavy rains in the two states, which given the topography of the region, could cause problems in some areas,” India Meteorological Department director B P Yadav said.
Yadav said conditions were ripe for the monsoon to cover the entire country by Friday, much ahead of its normal date of July 15. Meanwhile, another active monsoon day took the countrywide rain surplus to 24% for this month.
Monsoon is likely to remain active in central and northwest India for the next three days or so before entering a weak phase, Yadav said.
The Met office said the southwest monsoon on Wednesday covered Bihar while advancing into most parts of Gujarat, some more parts of Madhya Pradesh and east Uttar Pradesh. It raced through most parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, covered the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and moved into some parts of Punjab and east Rajasthan.
This rapid northward progress was being fuelled by a confluence of two systems over northwest India — one, a western disturbance and the other a rain-laden depression moving up from Arabian Sea, which on Wednesday dumped a lot of rain on the way over Gujarat.
The Met office expects the monsoon to hit the national capital region by Friday and fairly widespread showers are predicted in Delhi over the next two days.
“After Friday, rainfall would considerably decrease over northwest and central India as the monsoon enters a weak phase. It would, however, continue to remain active in east and northeast India,” Yadav said.