New Delhi: Monsoon, the lifeline of Indian agriculture, is most likely to hit Kerala by June 5, the Meteorological Department said on Monday.
"We are expecting monsoon to hit in Kerala in another 24 to 36 hrs. It's on schedule. Further progression will be faster on western coast of India. Interior peninsula may not get heavy rainfall," IMD Director General LS Rathore said.
On el nino, Rathore said, "The sea surface temperature is indicating warming. Possibility of el nino is higher as compared to what we said in February. We will get to know if it effects the monsoon by june 3rd week."
El nino or ENSO, is a quasiperiodic climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean roughly every five years. Southern Oscillation refers to variations in the temperature of the surface of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean (warming and cooling known as El Nino and La Nina respectively) and in air surface pressure in the tropical western Pacific.
Monsoon rains are crucial for agriculture as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation. The farm sector contributes about only 15 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but it employs about 60 per cent of India's population.
In the last six years, the southwest monsoon has hit Kerala between May 26 and May 31.
On the back of good monsoon in 2010 and 2011, the country harvested a record food grains production of 245 million tonnes and 252.56 million tonnes, respectively.