Mumbai perks up in anticipation as monsoon hits Kerala

The life-giving summer monsoon, always awaited with bated breath in India, raced ahead of earlier forecasts and set in over Kerala on Sunday, three days before the 'normal' date of 1 June.

The system set in over most parts of Kerala and covered most of the south of the Arabian Sea and some parts of Tamil Nadu, the south of the Bay of Bengal and the south of the Andaman Sea, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a Sunday afternoon bulletin.

Conditions were favourable for further advance of the system, it said. In the next two to three days, it could cover all of Kerala, more parts of Tamil Nadu, the Arabian Sea, the south Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, it said.

The speed of the monsoon's advance seems to have caught the IMD off-guard, though it din't say so. Just a day earlier, IMD officials were bemoaning the fact that the rains were late in settling over the Andaman Sea, from where it advances to Kerala and onward.

A meteorologist at the IMD in Pune told The Telegraph that things appear to have changed quickly during the night and early morning. ''The data received at 8.30am clearly showed monsoon over Kerala,'' said the meteorologist.

It is however far from certain if the sweltering denizens of Mumbai will be equally lucky. The 'normal' date for the monsoon's arrival over the metropolis is 10 June, or 10 days after it hits Kerala.