Annual monsoon rains arrived at the Kerala coast in southern India on Wednesday, a day later than forecast, a weather office source said, easing fears over farm and economic growth after two straight droughts hit rural income and agricultural output.
The monsoon delivers nearly 70 percent of rains that India needs to water farms, and recharge reservoirs and aquifers. Nearly half of India’s farmlands, without any irrigation cover, depend on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops. .
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had on Tuesday said that monsoon should hit the Kerala coast on June 9 with an error margin of plus or minus four days. But bringing relief to agriculturists, it hit Kerala shores today.
The IMD forecast has predicted rainfall over the country as a whole is most likely to be above normal – 104-110 percent of long period average (LPA) – for the 2016 southwest monsoon season from June to September.
It is said that the El Nino conditions have turned ‘neutral to negative’ and La Nina conditions are likely to develop in the second half of the monsoon. The monsoon during June-September is likely to be above-normal.