The India Meteorological Department on Friday said that the onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala is likely to be delayed by four days this year, adding that the expected date now is June 5 as against the normal date of June 1.

“This year, the onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala was likely to be slightly delayed as compared to the normal date of onset,” the weather department said in a press release. “The monsoon onset over Kerala this year is likely to be on 5th June with a model error of plus or minus 4 days.”

Monsoons deliver about 70% of India’s annual rainfall and boosts the country’s agricultural output and economic growth. The delay in monsoons is likely to affect farmers who are already impacted by the lockdown and economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the IMD said the monsoon was likely to arrive over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands four days in advance, in the next 48 hours. “Past data suggest that there is no association of the date of monsoon advance over the Andaman Sea either with the date of monsoon onset over Kerala or with the seasonal monsoon rainfall over the country,” it added.