Monsoon hits Kerala coast three days ahead of usual date

The southwest monsoon on Sunday hit Kerala coast, three days ahead of normal onset time of June 1, thus marking the start of a four-months season of rainfall across the subcontinent.

“All the conditions for the onset of monsoon over Kerala have been satisfied today,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.

The IMD in its earlier forecast had said that monsoon rainfall will be “normal” for the fourth year in a row, boosting expectations of a robust kharif crop.

Around 50% of the total cultivable land in the country depends on monsoon rains. It also helps replenishing reservoirs as well as ground water. 

With the onset of monsoon, kharif crops – paddy, pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals –  sowing is expected to commence as rains are expected to move gradually towards the rest of the country over next 4 – 6 weeks.

On Friday, the IMD had predicted that monsoon would arrive over the next two to three days. The forecaster declares the arrival of monsoon rains only after parameters measuring the consistency of rainfall over a defined geography, intensity, cloudiness and wind speed are satisfied

Last month, IMD had predicted that India would receive a “normal” monsoon (June-September) at 99% of the benchmark long period average (LPA), with a model error of +/- 5%.

IMD also stated that conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into remaining parts of Kerala, some more parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and some more parts of south and central Bay of Bengal, some parts of northeast Bay of Bengal and northeastern states during next three to four days.

“Although monsoon has set in well before time, but we do not expect active monsoon conditions to continue over Kerala, Tamil Nadu, south Karnataka, and remaining parts of south peninsula for at least next one week,” private weather forecasting agency Skymet said.

India’s foodgrain production will rise 1.2% on year to a new record of 314.51 million tonne for the 2021-22 crop year (July-June), according to the third advance estimate released by the agriculture ministry recently.

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