The southwest monsoon hit Kerala on Tuesday, three days ahead of its scheduled arrival, says the India Meteorological Department.
The onset of monsoon over the southern state marks the commencement of the four-month long rainy season in the country.
June 1 is the official onset date for arrival of monsoon in the country and it takes more than a month-and-half to cover the entire country.
The monsoon rains are a lifeline for India’s economy and breaks weeks of punishing heat, especially in central and northern states where dozens die every year due to heat-strokes.
The IMD has made a forecast of “normal” rainfall this season.
The Met office declares the arrival of monsoon rains only after parameters measuring consistency of rainfall over a defined geography, intensity, cloudiness and wind speed are satisfied.
If after May 10, 60 per cent of the available 14 stations –Minicoy, Amini, Thiruvananthapuram, Punalur, Kollam, Allapuzha, Kottayam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Thalassery, Kannur, Kudulu and Mangalore — report 2.5 mm or more rainfall for two consecutive days, the onset of monsoon over Kerala can be declared on the second day. This is one of the main parameters for declaring the arrival of monsoon.
All the necessary parameters were met following which the onset of monsoon over Kerala was announced, Mritunjay Mohapatra, Additional Director General, IMD said.