South-west monsoon is expected to bring its first showers in south Andamans in the next three days, setting the stage for the annual seasonal rains, the lifeline of the trillion-dollar farm-dependent economy.
"Conditions are favourable for setting in of the south-west monsoon over south Andaman Sea during the next three days," the weather office said.
The onset over south Andaman is a week late than the normal May 15-20 dates but scientists say the delay would have no effect on the onset of monsoon over Kerala.
An India Meteorological Department official said the weather office stood by its forecast of arrival of monsoon in Kerala on May 31, with a model error of four days.
A meteorologist said low pressure area was seen forming in the North Bay of Bengal around May 28, which would help intensify the monsoon system. The onset of south-west monsoon over Kerala heralds the beginning of rainy season in the Indian sub-continent.
The timing, spread and amount of rainfall, which has been forecast at 98 per cent of the 50-year average in India this year, are crucial for the farm-based economy.
The sowing of kharif crops like rice, pulses and oilseeds starts with the arrival of the first rains.