The India Meteorological Department on Saturday said monsoon will arrive on the southern coast on June 6. The monsoon usually reaches the southern tip of Kerala around June 1, PTI reported.

“At present, monsoon has covered some extreme southern part of Arabian Sea and parts of southwest-southeast-east central Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea, and Andaman Nicobar islands,” M Mohapatra, IMD’s director general of meteorology, was quoted as saying by ANI. “In the next two-three days, it’ll cover more parts of the Arabian Sea.”

Monsoon is supposed to be normal this year at 96% of the Long Period Average, the IMD had predicted on Friday. “Monsoon rainfall over the country is likely to be normal with 96%,” M Rajeevan, secretary, ministry of earth sciences, had told Hindustan Times. “El Nino likely to remain in a weak phase. There is chance of delayed monsoon, but no need to worry.”

The Long Period Average is the average rainfall received by the entire country during the southwest monsoon, from June to September between the years 1951 and 2000. It is pegged at 89 cm.

Monsoon is expected to advance into extreme southern parts of Arabian Sea and some parts of Maldives, and Comorin, among others in the next three days, The Hindu Business Line reported. It is likely to strengthen and set in over Kerala around June 6, which was predicted earlier.

For Maharashtra, where the mercury touched 48°C in Chandrapur town on Thursday, the department predicted 100% of LPA.

India receives 70% of the annual rainfall during the monsoon that plays an extremely crucial role in the agricultural sector.

The IMD has also predicted thunderstorms for the next three to five days over northeastern states and extreme southern peninsula. “In Delhi, we are not expecting rain,” Mohapatra said. “As per our forecast, the maximum temperature can be as high as 46 degrees. It will gradually come down.”

On Friday, states in north India recorded their highest temperatures of the season as heatwave conditions intensified across the country, with Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan recording a maximum of 49.6 degrees Celsius. “Severe heatwave condition is persisting in many parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi Rajasthan, southern Uttar Pradesh, northern Madhya Pradesh, and some parts of Jharkhand,” Mohapatra said, according to ANI.