By Thomas Kutty Abraham, Bloomberg
Mumbai: Monsoon, a four-month rainy season that supports a fifth of the economy, may set over the eastern coast a week earlier than normal, according to the weather office.
Parts of southeast Bay of Bengal and south Andaman Sea may start receiving monsoon rains from 11 May or 12 May, M. Rajeevan, director at the India Meteorological Department’s National Climate Centre said in a telephonic interview from Pune. The rains typically start around 18 May, according to the office.
India’s 234 million farmers rely on the June-to-September rainy season to water most of their crops. A bigger harvest can help increase incomes among the 700 million Indians who live in the villages and spurs demand for appliances. Higher output also reduces the need to import wheat, lentils and vegetable oils.
“Overall conditions are favourable for an early start of the monsoon,” Rajeevan said. “It could be a week ahead of schedule in the Andaman sea.”
The rainy season will be 95% of the average reported between 1941 and 1990, a level considered normal, the weather department said on 19 April.
The office may forecast the onset of the monsoon over the southern Kerala coast on 12 May or 14 May, Rajeevan said.