Southwest monsoon, critical for the farm-based economy of the country, is expected to reach Kerala on May 30, two days before its normal onset date in the coastal state.
"The south-west monsoon is likely to arrive over Kerala on May 30 according to the forecast of India Meteorological Department," Earth Sciences Minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Friday evening.
The much-awaited seasonal rains are expected to bring showers to the Andaman Sea by May 20. The onset of monsoon over the Andaman Sea sets the stage for the four-month summer rain season that powers the trillion-dollar economy with agriculture as its prime engine of growth.
Last month, the IMD had forecast normal monsoon rains for the season beginning June 1.
The normal monsoon forecast is expected to bring cheer to over 235 million farmers who had faced drought last year due to failed monsoon.
A good monsoon could help sowing of rice, sugarcane, soybean and corn, and lead to a rebound in the agricultural output.
Shailesh Nayak, secretary, ministry of earth sciences claimed that the IMD has been issuing accurate forecast on the onset of monsoon over Kerala for the past five years using an indigenously developed statistical model.
Another favourable parameter for a normal monsoon was the end of the El Nino event for the year.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology had announced the conclusion of the El Nino event of 2009-10 saying that all the major indicators were now below El Nino thresholds.
The periodic warming of the equatorial to equatorial east Pacific is known to affect adversely the monsoon rains in India. The unusual warming of the Pacific water was one of the factors believed to have affected the monsoon season last year.
Weather scientists now expect the La Nina conditions to develop which are known to be favourable to the Indian monsoon.
La Nina represents the exact reverse of El Nino, when the warming anomaly spreads westwards in the Pacific and has been largely known to favour an Indian monsoon.Historically, about 40 percent of El Nino events are immediately followed by a La Nina, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.