India looks likely to receive average monsoon rains in 2018, the weather office said last month, raising the possibility of higher farm and economic growth in Asia's third-biggest economy.
Rains usually hit Kerala on the south coast around June 1 and cover the whole country by mid-July. Timely rains trigger planting of crops such as rice, soybeans and cotton.
The Meteorological Department declares the arrival of monsoon rains only after parameters measuring consistency of rainfall over a defined geography, intensity, cloudiness and wind speed are satisfied.
Other than lifting farm and wider economic growth, a spell of good rains will keep a lid on inflation, potentially tempting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring forward general elections due in May 2019.