The much-awaited southwest monsoon is likely to knock on Kerala's doors on 27 May, against the normal onset date of 1 June, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on Friday, 13 May.
The monsoon's arrival is eagerly awaited as it has a deep impact on India's agriculture and economy, and hence, is termed the "real finance minister of India."
"This year, the onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala is likely to be earlier than the normal date of onset. The monsoon onset over Kerala is likely to be on 27 May with a model error of plus or minus four days," the IMD said.
In the Indian monsoon region, initial monsoon rains are experienced over the south Andaman Sea and the monsoon winds then advance north-westwards across the Bay of Bengal.
As per the normal dates of monsoon onset/progress, the southwest monsoon advances over the Andaman Sea around 22 May.
"In association with enhanced cross equatorial winds, conditions are becoming favourable for advance of Southwest Monsoon into South Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and some parts of southeast Bay of Bengal, around 15 May," the IMD added.
Past data suggests that there is no association of the date of monsoon advance over the Andaman Sea either with the date of monsoon onset in Kerala or with the seasonal monsoon rainfall across the country, the IMD pointed out.
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