The much-awaited Southwest Monsoon, crucial to the country’s economy, is expected to hit Kerala in the next 24 hours. But whether it will be bountiful or erratic and how it will impact the agriculture sector is not known.

States have been alerted to be prepared with contingency plans for kharif (paddy) sowing.

“Conditions are conducive for the likely onset of monsoon in Kerala in the next 24 hours. Today (Thursday) there was good rainfall and if it continues till tomorrow (Friday), we will declare arrival of monsoon,” Director-General of Meteorology, India Meteorological Department, L.S. Rathore told The Hindu.

The department will come out with a detailed report on the monsoon on Monday.

To review the situation, the Cabinet Secretary has convened a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries on Saturday.

On Thursday, the IMD convened a day-long meeting of all its field forecasters, officers from Pune and Delhi, state and regional stations and stakeholders from various ministries.

In its first forecast, the IMD had said rain in 2014 was expected to be 95 per cent of the long-period average (LPA, an average of 50 years) — 89 cm. Rainfall between 96 and 104 per cent of LPA is considered normal.

It had said there was a 60 per cent chance of the El Nino weather phenomenon, which causes low rain, to impact monsoon during August-September.

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