Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala witnessed showers on Friday. The first showers at the end of May signal that it is time for the onset of the southwest monsoon, which the IMD forecast on Friday could arrive in the state in three to four days.

The director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), K Santhosh, said that conditions for the onset of the monsoon are now favourable. "This is all I can say now, as the analysis is going on," Santhosh said.

The southwest monsoon normally sets in over Kerala around June 1, and advances northwards, usually in surges, covering the entire country by mid-July. From 2005 onwards, the IMD has been issuing operational forecasts for the monsoon's onset over Kerala using an indigenously developed statistical model with a model error of four days.

The forecasts of the monsoon in the past eight years - 2005 to 2012 - have been on the dot. In 2012, the monsoon arrived June 5; in 2005, it arrived only on June 7; in 2009, it came rather early, on May 23.

(Agencies)

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