Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In what can bring respite for agriculture sector and farmers, the monsoon is expected to hit Kerala’s coast on June 03, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday.
"Monsoon is expected to reach Kerala close to its normal date that is June 3," Met Department Director Shivanand Pai said.
Monsoon had brought its first showers to the Andaman Sea on May 17, three days before the normal onset date.
The IMD had last month issued its first monsoon forecast, predicting a normal Monsoon this year with overall rainfall expected to be 98 per cent of the long period average.
The rainy season in India lasts for about four months when the country receives the maximum rains. The monsoon starts over the Kerala coast and then proceeds to other parts.
Monsoon is crucial for the kharif crops such as rice, soyabean, cotton and maize because almost 60 per cent of the farm land in the country is rain-fed.
While IMD`s short-term weather forecasts have been by and large accurate, it is the monsoon predictions which have received flak from several quarters.
The most recent example of the shortcoming of the IMD was last year`s forecast, when it predicted 99 per cent rains of the long period average, while the actual figures stood at 92 per cent with Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka facing drought conditions.
The IMD had also predicted normal monsoon season in 2009, which ended with 22 per cent deficient rains -- the worst in at least four decades.
Scientists attribute this to the deficiencies in the monsoon forecast model which was unable to capture the regional variations in rainfall.
With PTI Inputs