NEW DELHI: India’s annual monsoon, which delivers about 70 per cent of the country’s rainfall, arrived on the coast of southern Kerala state on Sunday (May 29), the state-run India Meteorological Department said, two days ahead of the usual time.
The department forecast on May 13 that monsoon rains were likely to reach Kerala on May 27 and on Friday said conditions were becoming favourable for the onset of the monsoon over Kerala during the following two to three days.
One of the world’s biggest producers and consumers of farm goods, India relies on monsoon rains to water almost half its farmland, which lacks irrigation.
A monsoon failure can force New Delhi to import more edible oils and curb exports of some agricultural produce, sending international prices higher.
Last month the department forecast average monsoon rains for this year, raising the prospects of higher farm and overall economic growth in Asia’s third-biggest economy.
The meteorological department 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.
It defines average, or normal, rainfall as ranging between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average of 87cm for the season beginning in June.
Source: Channel News Asia