After heatwave spells, Southwest Monsoon likely to reach Kerala by May 31, predicts IMD

07:33PM Thu 16 May, 2024

India's monsoon rains, essential for the country's economy, are expected to hit the Kerala coast in the southwest on May 31, IMD said in a statement.

"This year, the southwest monsoon is likely to set in over Kerala on May 31 with a model error of ± 4 days," said the weather agency in a statement.

"Advance of the southwest monsoon over Indian main land is marked by monsoon onset over Kerala and is an important indicator characterizing the transition from hot and dry season to a rainy season. As the monsoon progresses northward, relief from scorching summer temperatures is experienced over the areas," added IMD in the statement.
Earlier, the IMD had forecast above-normal rainfall during the June-September Southwest Monsoon season.

Relief for India's agro economy
The southwest monsoon provides about 70% of India's yearly rain and is essential for the agriculture sector that contributes significantly to the country’s GDP and supports over half of its 1.4 billion population.

The government is expecting a bumper agricultural output in the coming year as monsoon rains are projected to be bountiful this year.

India, where large part of agricultural land is still rain fed, receives 85% of rainfall during the four month long monsoon season. Robust farm sector output will support overall economic growth I FY 25, boost government's depleting granaries and ease food inflation.

June and July are considered the most important monsoon months for agriculture as most of the sowing for the Kharif crop takes place in this period.

One of the two factors favouring plentiful rain was a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), or a cooler than normal Indian Ocean in the east as compared to the west, which again helps bring rain to several States in southern India.

The IOD is currently 'neutral' and is expected to turn positive by August.

Another factor was a below-normal snow cover in the northern hemisphere and Eurasia. Historically, there was an "inverse relationship" between the levels of snow here and the monsoon, Mohapatra had said last month.

(with agency inputs)