South-west monsoon, crucial for the cultivation of kharif crops, on Saturday reached Kerala a week ahead of its normal date, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in New Delhi.
"The south-west monsoon has reached Kerala," IMD Director B P Yadav said.
Monsoon rains are key for cultivation of kharif crops which account for nearly 60 per cent of the farm output of the country. A good kharif season augurs well for a range of goods and services. The weather office had earlier forecast that monsoon would reach Kerala between May 23 and 25. The normal monsoon onset date over Kerala is June 1.
Most parts of the state have been receiving widespread pre-monsoon showers, creating the mood of the arrival of the rainy season, known in local parlance as "Kalavarsham".
Yadav said monsoon was expected to advance further in the next few days in Kerala and the northeastern parts of the country.
Weather scientists are keeping a close watch on the low pressure area currently lying over east-central Bay of Bengal which is expected to intensify into a cyclone.
In such a case monsoon may play a disappearing act over peninsular India as the cyclone would suck away moisture over the region and weaken the monsoon system.