The India Meteorological Department on Friday said the southwest monsoon was likely to hit the Kerala coast on May 29, three days ahead of schedule. However, the date for the season’s onset may change by up to four days, Business Standard reported.

“The southwest monsoon advances over the Andaman Sea normally around May 20 with a standard deviation of about one week,” the weather department said. “Conditions are likely to become favourable for the advance of southwest monsoon into some parts of the Andaman Sea and the southeast Bay of Bengal around May 23.”

However, it clarified that a timely monsoon does not guarantee its normal progress or performance.

In its earlier forecast, the Met department had said that there was a high probability of a normal monsoon this year. It had predicted 97% rainfall of long period average. The figure, however, may vary by 5%. The forecast was for the period of June to September.

The department had also forecast a low probability of deficit rainfall this monsoon. Rains would be evenly distributed across the country, it had added.