After a brief lull, south-west monsoon on Thursday advanced to south Konkan, Goa and most parts of Karnataka with signs of reaching peak strength early next week.

Most parts of the west coast and interior regions of the South peninsula has been experiencing fairly widespread rainfall activity since Wednesday and these conditions were expected to continue for the next two days, the weather office said.

Analyses of prediction models suggest that conditions are favourable for further advance of monsoon into some more parts of Maharashtra, north interior Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

South-west monsoon — one of the crucial factors that power the trillion-dollar Indian economy — had set in over Kerala on May 31 but were stalled by the powerful cyclone Phet, which developed around the same time.

However, scientists cautioned that a normal date of onset did not have any relation with the quantum of rainfall the mainland will receive from June to September.

Scientists said that the conditions were favourable for advance of monsoon and moisture-laden winds were expected to push the annual rainfall system further northwards.

Monsoon rains are considered the lifeline of Indian agriculture and are vital for kharif crops such as paddy, sugarcane, oilseeds and pulses.

Last year, almost half of the country faced severe drought due to failure of monsoon. As a result, India’s food grain production declined to 218.19 million tonnes in 2009-10 crop year from a record 234.47 million tonne in the previous year.

In April, the IMD had forecast normal Monsoon rains for the four-month season beginning June 1.

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