New Delhi: North-east monsoon is most likely to make its onset over southern coast around 26 October, said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), here on Sunday.

The north-east monsoon is crucial for the southern states and plays a key role in determining the regional agricultural production. It’s the chief rainfall season for Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalseema, Kerala and south-interior Karnataka.

Tamil Nadu receives nearly 48% of its annual rainfall from the north-east monsoon during its October to December season, which heavily impacts the production of Rabi crops.

According to the met department , the south-west monsoon which provides over 75% of rainfall to the country during June to September has finally drawn to a close and withdrew from the entire country on Sunday. Its retreat has signalled the arrival of the north-east monsoon which usually set in every year around 20 October.

“North-east monsoon rainfall is very likely to commence over south-east peninsular India around October 26," stated the weather department.

Forecast have indicated that the seasonal rainfall during October-December is likely to be normal. However, since the period is also the main cyclone season for the North Indian Ocean basin, inland flooding associated with heavy rainfall episodes remains a concern.

While last year’s north-east monsoon season was normal across all five sub-divisions in the south, there was extensive rainfall activity and severe damage due to tropical Cyclone Ockhi which ravaged the coast around November-end.

According to MeT officials, weak El nino conditions currently prevailing over the equatorial Pacific region are also likely to become more prominent in the next few months. El nino, when fully developed is considered to have a positive impact on the north-east monsoon and is associated with floods.

Heavy rainfall during the 2015 north-east monsoon which was a strong El nino year had triggered unprecedented floods in north coastal districts including Chennai.

According to the MeT forecast, thunderstorm accompanied with lightning and gusty winds very likely at isolated places over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry over the next two days, while remaining parts of the country would remain largely dry.

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