Monsoon hits Kerala coast

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Pune, May 31 (UNI) The South-west monsoon heralded its arrival by lashing the Kerala coast this morning, an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

IMD's Deputy Director General (weather) A B Mujumdar told UNI that the monsoon has set in over Kerala amongst highly favourable conditions.

''If the situation remains the same, it is expected to advance further into South Karnataka within the next three days and hit Mumbai by June 10. The monsoon has set a day ahead of its normal schedule, that is June one, due to the strengthening and deepening of westerly flow over Arabian Sea and presence of offshore trough,'' he said.

''Besides the monsoon current, a thick clouding along with the offshore trough and strengthening and deepening of westerly/south- westerly flow over Arabian Sea and South Peninsula has made the South-west monsoon enter Kerala,'' Mr Mujumdar said, adding, ''conditions are highly favourable for the further advancement of the monsoon over parts of Southern Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu.'' IMD reported that heavy monsoon was witnessed on the first day itself in Kollam, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha and Kozhikode, and light rainfall was recorded at many other stations in Kerala. It IMD had forecast that monsoon would arrive at least four days in advance by May 29, he said.

Dr Mujumdar said if the monsoon conditions remained as favourable for a few more days, then due to the presence of various systems, it can enter various parts of the country much before the usual date and the national capital is expected to witness the first monsoon showers around June 20.

This year, the IMD has predicted 103 per cent of the total average rainfall in the country, which is considered to be fairly good. The South-west monsoon is very crucial for kharif crop in the country as also to its economy, that will be reflected soon on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the market in general.

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