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PTI

After a six-day pause, the south-west monsoon has started lingering towards Kerala, having covered southern Sri Lanka on Thursday, the weather office said.

Conditions are favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon over some more parts of South Arabian Sea, entire Maldives and adjoining areas of Lakshadweep and some more parts of Comorin area during next 48 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday afternoon.

According to reports, parts of Kerala have been receiving heavy rainfall and the weather office has forecast widespread rain over the southern state and Lakshadweep over the next two days.

Advance of the monsoon over Kerala is being continuously monitored, the IMD said.

The weather office had earlier said that the south-west monsoon was likely to have onset over Kerala on May 27, with an error margin of four days.

The normal onset date for Kerala is June 1.

According to monsoon watchers, the south-west monsoon had gathered momentum due to Cyclone Asani in the Bay of Bengal earlier this month.

Monsoon had reached Andaman and Nicobar Islands on May 16, earlier than normal, and was expected to sprint ahead under the influence of remnants of Cyclone Asani, which were lingering over the south peninsula after the landfall in northern Andhra Pradesh on May 12.

"Good news! After stalling for 6 days, the Arabian Sea branch of the monsoon has moved. The monsoon has now reached Sri Lanka, and its next stop is Kerala. Meanwhile, the Bay of Bengal branch of the monsoon has not shown any progress since 20 May," Akshay Deoras, a researcher at University of Reading, said on Twitter.

India received 3 per cent excess rain since March 1 with the south peninsula experiencing large excess rain while northwestern parts of the country remained dry and in the grip of severe heatwaves.

Rainfall was deficient by 65 per cent in northwest India and 39 per cent in central India from March 1 till date.

East and northeast India received 27 per cent excess rainfall and the south peninsula received 76 per cent excess rainfall, the weather office said.

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