The India Meteorological Department on Sunday announced the onset of the annual southwest monsoon over southern Bay of Bengal, the Nicobar Islands and the South Andaman Sea.

The southwest monsoon has also advanced over some parts of the Maldives and Comorin area, the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu, the weather department said.

The announcement was made by the weather agency after considering the conditions over the Andaman Sea and the Nicobar Islands.

Advance of the southwest monsoon in 2024 (Credit: India Meteorological Department)
Advance of the southwest monsoon in 2024 (Credit: India Meteorological Department)

On Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department forecasted that the southwest monsoon is likely to reach Kerala around May 31.

The monsoon season generally begins in June and starts to retreat by September.

In April, the department predicted above-normal rainfall in the monsoon. This is the first time in nearly a decade that the weather agency has predicted “above normal” rainfall in its long-range forecast for the season.

The department had said in April that the country is expected to get 106% of the long period average rainfall. The measure is the mean rainfall during the four-month monsoon season over the last 50 years.

Nearly the entire country, except for certain parts in the northwest, east and northeast, is likely to get good rainfall, the weather agency had said.

Parts of the country were crippled by a severe heat wave in March and April, drying up water bodies and creating a drought-like situation.

Also read: Explainer: Why does India get monsoon rains every year?