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Southwest monsoon hits Kerala, say IMD

The southwest monsoon has arrived over the coast of Kerala on Monday on the onset date of June 1, marking the start of the four-month season, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

IMD had said last Thursday the monsoon was likely to arrive in Kerala, which marks the beginning of the four-month rainy season when India receives 70% of its annual rainfall, around its normal onset date of June 1.

It said there were new developing patterns that could speed up the progress of the rain system.

The weather department had said on May 15 the onset was likely to be delayed by four days and the monsoon was expected to arrive on June 5.

IMD director general Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra had said they are expecting favourable conditions to develop from Monday, June 1.

“As per our first stage of monsoon forecast, which was issued on April 15, we are expecting normal monsoon condition with 100% rainfall over the country during September. However, we will be releasing the second stage of the monsoon forecast tomorrow,” said Mohapatra, according to news agency ANI.

Nearly half of the country’s farmland depends on annual June-September rains to grow crops such as rice, corn, cane, cotton and soybeans.

The IMD said last month India is likely to get average monsoon rains this year, raising expectations of higher farm output.

The Indian economy, Asia’s third-biggest, is reeling from lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

The monsoon normally sets in over Kerala around June 1 and advances northwards, usually in surges, and covers the entire country around July 15.

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