New Delhi: The south-west monsoon, crucial for the country's agriculture-based economy, is likely to hit the Kerala coast by June 2, the IMD said. "Conditions are becoming favourable for the onset of south-west monsoon over Kerala during the next three days," DP Yadav, Director of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), said.
After arriving over Kerala, monsoon moves gradually to cover the entire country by mid-July. While the normal date for onset of monsoon in Kerala is June 1, in 2012 the season rainfall hit the state on June 5. Earlier, the IMD said the monsoon is likely to touch Kerala on June 3.
In April, the weather office had forecast normal monsoon this year with overall rainfall expected to be 98 per cent of the long period average. Monsoon, the four-month rainfall season, is crucial for the kharif crops such as rice, soyabean, cotton and maize as almost 60 per cent of the farm land in the country is rainfed.
The south-west monsoon had touched Andaman Sea and parts of Bay of Bengal on May 17, three day's before the normal onset date. Last year, the monsoon had touched the whole country by July 11, four days in advance.