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New Delhi: The southwest monsoon has hit the Nicobar Islands and the entire south Andaman Sea three days ahead of time, the official weather office said.

The southwest monsoon, which irrigates most of India’s farm lands, normally reaches the Andaman Sea on 17 May.

It’s too early, however, to predict an early onset of monsoon over the Indian subcontinent, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday. The IMD will release its forecast on the monsoon onset over the subcontinent in the coming week.

“In view of the strengthening and deepening of south-westerly winds, persistent cloudiness and rainfall, southwest monsoon has advanced into some parts of south-east Bay of Bengal, Nicobar Islands, entire south Andaman Sea and parts of north Andaman Sea today," IMD said.

In the next 72 hours, the southwest monsoon will further advance into some areas of southwest and southeast Bay of Bengal.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea along and off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during 15 to 17 May due to prediction of heavy rainfall in these areas.

An early arrival of monsoon in the islands does not necessarily mean it will hit the mainland ahead of time.

“It’s too early to provide prediction about the southwest monsoon over the Kerala coast. IMD will be releasing forecast about the same in the coming week" said K. Sathi Devi, scientist at the forecasting division of IMD.

However, private weather forecaster Skymet said on Sunday monsoon will hit the Kerala coast on time.

“According to our current model conditions, monsoon is likely to hit Kerala by 1 June with error margin of three days," said Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist at Skymet.

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