The monsoon season began on June 1 with parts of Kerala receiving heavy rainfall. The onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala, in keeping with the India Meteorological Department's prediction, was further confirmed by director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.
The four-month monsoon season from June to September accounts for 75% of rainfall in the country.
According to a long range forecast update for this year's southwest monsoon rainfall that was issued by the IMD, rainfall over the country is likely to be normal, that is, 96% to 104% of long period average.
As per tweeted information by the IMD, "quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 102% of the LPA with a model error of ±4%."
While the northern part of India is likely to get "above normal" rainfall, while Central India and the southern peninsula will receive "normal" rainfall, the IMD said. Eastern and northeastern India are likely to receive comparatively less rainfall.
"Region wise, the season rainfall is likely to be 107% of LPA over North-West India, 103% of LPA over Central India, 102% of LPA over South Peninsula and 96% of LPA over North-East India, all with a model error of ± 8 %," the IMD tweeted.
While the IMD had initially said that the onset of monsoon would be delayed by a few days, this was preponed to June 1 owing to the presence of a a cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal.
In related news, a cyclonic storm is likely to hit the western coastal states of India. An IMD tweet from May 31 had said that a "low pressure area would form over southeast-east-central Arabian Sea". The IMD said that this low pressure area would intensify into depression in the coming hours and could even gain in intensity. It added that this would "move north-northwestwards towards Gujarat & north Maharashtra coasts till 3rd June".
A red alert has been issued for parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and fishermen have been urged to not venture out for the next few days.
Goa too has sounded a warning. The IMD has issued an orange alert for the coastal state, predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall till Thursday.