Monsoon rains, which usually arrive on the southern tip of Kerala around June 1, are expected to arrive on the country's southern coast on June 6, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
"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. In the next two-three days, it'll cover more parts of the Arabian sea," IMD's M Mohapatra told news agency ANI.
On Friday, the state-run weather office had predicted that the country will see average monsoon rains this year.
Monsoon rainfall is expected to be 96 per cent of the long-term average (LPA), the weather office said in a statement. The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres for the entire four-month season beginning June.
The country receives 70 per cent of the annual rainfall in the monsoon season, which is key to the success of the agricultural sector.
The IMD has also predicted that "thunderstorm activity will continue for next 3-5 days over northeastern states and over extreme southern peninsula". "In Delhi, we are not expecting rain, and as per our forecast, the maximum temperature here can be as high as 46 degrees. It will gradually come down," Mr Mohapatra said.
The monsoon rains will bring respite to most parts of the country gripped by heatwave.
The weather department has issued a "red colour" warning for the national capital as the city recorded the hottest day of the season on Friday. The IMD has four colour-coded messages -- green, yellow, amber and red. Green indicates normal conditions while red denotes extreme weather situations.
Apart from Delhi, heatwave conditions prevail in UP, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana. On Friday, Sri Ganganagar in western Rajasthan recorded highest maximum temperature of 49.6 degree Celsius.
In south India, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh have been gripped by heatwave.
(With inputs from ANI, Reuters, PTI)