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New Delhi:

It seems like Kerala has to wait a week further to see the rain hit the ground. The Meteorological Department of India on Wednesday said the onset of monsoon is likely to be delayed by a week and is now expected to arrive only by June 8. Earlier it had forecast the monsoon onset over the mainland on 6th June, with rainfall seen at 96% of the 50-year long-term average (LPA) of 89 cm. The normal date of monsoon onset is 1 June.

“An east-west shear zone between 3.1 km and 4.5 km above mean sea level runs roughly along Lat. 7°N across Maldives-Comorin area. It is very likely to shift northwards, gradually leading to favourable conditions for the onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala around 8 June,” the IMD said.

Millions of Indian farmers depend on rains for agriculture, making the summer monsoon season crucial for the domestic economy. Rainfall during the four-month accounts for over 75% of the country’s annual showers and irrigates over half its farms.

Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan had also indicated that monsoon could hit the Kerala coast on June 6-7. Several parts of the country are reeling under severe heat waves with temperatures touching 50 degree Celsius in some parts. Vardhan said monsoon is likely to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), which falls on the borderline of normal and below normal category.

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