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Monsoon to hit Kerala by May 31

India hopes to increase grain production by 7-8 million tonne if monsoon is normal
India hopes to increase grain production by 7-8 million tonne if monsoon is normal

New Delhi, May 15
The monsoon is likely to keep its date with Kerala bringing showers to the mainland by May 31, which has raised hopes for a normal season.

The weather office has forecast normal rainfall for the second consecutive year and farmers are looking forward for a steady progress of the season that could help them have a bumper crop.

The date of onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala is likely to be on May 31, the India Meteorological Department has announced.

Weather scientists have been using an indigenously developed statistical model since 2005 for issuing operational forecasts for the monsoon onset over Kerala. The model has an error of plus or minus four days.

They believe that the monsoon onset over Kerala could be earlier than May 31. Usually, the monsoon sets in over Andaman Sea by May 15. This has not been the case this year.

However, the IMD said that the past data suggests absence of any one-to-one association between the date of monsoon advance over Andaman Sea and the date of onset over Kerala.

On April 19, the IMD had forecast normal monsoon with the country receiving 98 per cent rainfall of the long period average (LPA). The LPA is the average rainfall over the past 50 years, which is 89 cm. After the 2009 drought, the country witnessed a record foodgrain produce of over 235.88 million tonne last year when monsoon was normal. PTI

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