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Monsoon hits Kerala, but progress may be delayed

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 15:33 IST

After a year of drought, the eagerly-awaited seasonal monsoon rains have reached Kerala, the weather office said on Monday.

"The south-west monsoon has reached Kerala and we expect it to cover coastal Karnataka within a day," said Ajit Tyagi, director general of the India Meteorological Department.

However, he said due to a storm brewing in the Arabian Sea, the progression of the monsoon is expected to be along the western coast. Interior parts of the peninsula will receive rains later.

"There is a depression in the Arabian Sea which could develop into a cyclone and affect the progression of monsoon in the interior parts," Tyagi said.

As per the current analysis, the depression which may develop into a cyclone could hit parts of coastal Gujarat and Karachi, weather scientists said.

The onset of monsoon over Kerala sets the stage for the four-month rainy season that powers the trillion-dollar economy with agriculture as its prime engine of growth. In April, the IMD had forecast normal monsoon rains for the season beginning June 1.

The normal monsoon forecast is expected to bring cheers to over 235 million farmers, who had faced a drought last year due to a failed monsoon. A good monsoon could help in the sowing of rice, sugarcane, soybean and corn and lead to a rebound in agricultural output.

Photograph: Reuters

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