June 1, 2020 / 7:51 AM / a month ago

Monsoon rains arrive on Kerala coast in southwest India - govt official

Beachgoers stand on a seaside promenade as clouds gathered over Arabian Sea in Kochi, India, June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Sivaram V

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s annual monsoon arrived on the Kerala coast on Monday, an official at the state-run weather office said, marking the start of the four-month rainy season that is crucial for the country’s farm-dependent economy.

The monsoon delivers about 70% of India’s annual rainfall.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) declares the arrival of monsoon rains only after parameters measuring consistency of rainfall over a defined geography, intensity, cloudiness and wind speed are satisfied.

Rains usually lash Kerala state, on India’s southwest coast, from around June 1 and cover the whole country by mid-July. Timely rains trigger the planting of crops such as rice, soybeans and cotton.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Gareth Jones

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