New Delhi: The monsoon has hit the country’s southern coast, the chief of the weather office said on Monday. “The monsoon has hit the Kerala coast,” said Ajit Tyagi, India Meteorological Department director general. The four-month monsoon season has begun sooner than the usual date of 1 June.
While the monsoon’s onset will send a positive signal to policymakers, weather scientists say a timely monsoon doesn’t necessarily mean a bountiful one.
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A normal monsoon, after last year’s drought, will help boost India’s grain and oilseeds output. The timely onset would help rein in double-digit food inflation by improving production prospects for summer-sown crops, said S. Raghuraman, an analyst with consulting firm Agriwatch.
After last year’s driest season in nearly four decades, the rains this year are expected to be 98% of the long-term average. Last year, monsoon rains had hit the Kerala coast on 23 May, a week ahead of the usual date, but actual rainfall was 23% below normal for the full season.