LONDON (ICIS)--The southwest monsoon set over Kerala today, marking the usual start of the June-September season, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) confirmed on Monday.
Last year, the onset of the monsoon was a week later than usual, hitting the coast of Kerala on 8 June 2019.
The IMD said rainfall over the country as a whole for the southwest monsoon season is likely to be ‘normal’ or 96-104% of the long period average (LPA) or 50-year average.
It was in line with the IMD's previous forecast in mid-April.
Quantitatively, rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 102% of the LPA with a model error of (+/-) 4%, said IMD.
This is above the IMD’s forecast of 100% in mid-April.Source: IMD
News of the southwest monsoon brings a much-needed respite to the country’s struggling economy which has come under additional pressure because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Agriculture makes up about 15% of the Indian economy and more than one-half of the country’s farmlands depend on the southwest monsoon for irrigation.
Northwest and central India are likely to see above average rainfall while the south and northeastern parts of the country are likely to see normal rainfall, said the weather agency.
Monthly rainfall over the country is likely to be 103% of its LPA during July and 97% of LPA during August, it added.
In 2019, rains came in at an unexpected 25-year high with India receiving “above normal” rainfall at 110% of LPA.
It was above the IMD’s forecast of a “normal” monsoon for the season.
This year, there are hopes for a repeat of 2019.