New Delhi: India’s annual monsoon, vital for the near-trillion dollar economy, will hit the coast of southern Kerala state one week earlier than scheduled, a weather official said on Monday.
“The forecast is for an early onset of monsoon. It is likely to hit the Kerala coast one week earlier than scheduled date of 1 June around 24 May,” an official at the Indian Meteorological Department told Reuters.
The monsoon rains arrived over the South Andaman Sea on 10 May, also a week earlier than usual.
There is on average a gap of two weeks between the monsoon’s arrival there and the breaking of another branch over Kerala. Different atmospheric conditions determine the progress of the two systems.
The weather office said last month that this year’s monsoon rains were likely to be 95% of the long-term average, with a 5% margin of error.
The June-September monsoon provides the main source of water for agriculture, which generates more than a fifth of the country’s gross domestic product.
Farming and related activity provide a livelihood to more than two-thirds of India’s 1.1 billion people, and good rains usually spur rural spending on a wide range of industrial products, from soap to motorcycles.
Healthy rains helped the economy to expand at an average of over 8.5% over the past three years -- behind only China among major economies.