The onset of monsoon is likely to be delayed further by 48 hours due to the development of cyclone Biparjoy over southeast Arabian Sea, the India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.

Last month the weather department had said that the monsoon season was likely to begin in Kerala with a slight delay on June 4. The monsoon rains usually lash Kerala by June 1 and cover the whole country by mid-July. Timely and normal rains are critical for India’s farm output.

On Wednesday, the meteorological department said that weather conditions were becoming favourable for onset of monsoon in Kerala in the next 48 hours. There has been persistence of westerly winds over the South Arabian Sea and an increase in cloudiness over the South East Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep and Kerala coasts.

Monsoon will progress beyond the southern peninsula after cyclone Biparjoy degenerates, a senior scientist at the meteorological department told PTI.

However, the cyclonic system in the Arabian Sea might hinder advancement of the monsoon winds, private weather tracking agency Skymet Weather said, reported PTI. “Under their influence, the monsoon stream may reach coastal parts but will struggle to penetrate beyond the Western Ghats,” Skymet Weather said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, cyclone Biparjoy is very likely to intensify into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm in the next 12 hours, according to the weather department. The cyclone which is currently located 880 kilometres west-southwest of Goa will move northwards in the next 24 hours and then north-northwestwards in the subsequent three days.

The meteorological department has also warned fishermen to not venture into the seas till June 12.