Four days after missing its date with the country, the crucial South West Monsoon has finally hit Kerala.
"South West Monsoon has arrived," India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General LS Rathore said on Friday, after the weather officials studied the rain pattern in Kerala over the last two days.
Rathore said there was "sluggish march" in the onset phase. Monsoon normally hits Kerala on June 1 but this year, Met department had predicted that it will hit the state on June 5.
Since Thursday, the Met department had been keeping a close watch on the rainfall and the wind pattern in the region before declaring the arrival of monsoon.
"We have 13 stations in Kerala and one in Karnataka that have recorded more than 2.5 mm of rainfall over the past two days - one of the most important criteria to declare its arrival," said Rathore.
Continuous rain for over 48 hours with a westerly windspeed of 15 to 20 knots is among two critical parameters for declaring the arrival of monsoon, which is crucial for the country and its agro-based economy.
Rainfall occurred at many places over Kerala and at a few places over Lakshadweep and north interior Karnataka.
Isolated rainfall occurred over Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Tamil Nadu, Coastal and South interior Karnataka in the last 48 hours.
After four years of normal and above-normal monsoon, India is expected to have below normal monsoon this year with rainfall projected to be 95 per cent, which will be disappointing for the farming community.
Officials in the weather department had said the monsoon is expected to be below normal because of El-Nino effect, which is generally associated with the warming of ocean water.