India's private weather forecasting agency Skymet on Tuesday predicted that the Southwest Monsoon this year is likely to hit the Southern Kerala coast on 4 June, making a timely onset.
The weather forecaster, however, said the Monsoon rains will deliver less than average rainfall this year, increasing farmer woes and dampening the prospects of higher farm and economic growth.
Weather models indicating weak onset over the Indian subcontinent: Skymet
"Monsoon 2019 seems to make a timely onset. However, weather models are indicating towards a weak onset over the Indian subcontinent, resulting in a sluggish start to Monsoon 2019," stated Skymet in a report.
Monsoon rains generally hit Kerala around 1 June
Monsoon generally hits Kerala around 1 June and covers the entire country by mid-July. Timely onset of Monsoon helps in planting of crops like rice, soybeans, and cotton.
According to Skymet, overall, India is expected to receive only 93% rainfall of the long-period average. The Monsoon season accounts for nearly 70% of the country's annual rainfall and is key to the farm sector growth.
Arrival of Monsoon over Andaman and Nicobar on 22 May
"Arrival of Monsoon over Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be on May 22, with an error margin of +/- 2 days," Skymet stated on its website.
"Southwest Monsoon...is likely to make onset over Kerala on June 4, with an error margin of +/- 2 days. Simultaneously, covering some parts of Northeast India... This will be preceded by intense pre-Monsoon rains over Kerala," it added.
Initial advancement of Monsoon over Peninsular India slow: Skymet MD
Skymet's Managing Director, Jatin Singh, stated, "All the four regions are going to witness lesser than normal rainfall, this season."
"East and Northeast India and central parts will be poorer than Northwest India and South Peninsula. Onset of Monsoon will be around June 4. It seems that initial advancement of Monsoon over Peninsular India is going to be slow," he added.