New Delhi, June 3 -- Kerala can expect the onset of monsoon on Thursday, two days behind schedule, as south-westerly winds have strengthened and resulted in an increase in rain, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said. IMD had earlier anticipated an early onset of monsoon by a day, but then revised its forecast on Sunday.

The arrival of the monsoon, which is crucial to the country's farm-dependent economy as 60% of India's net-sown area does not have access to irrigation, is announced on the basis of factors such as wind speed, consistency of rainfall, intensity, and cloudiness.

The monsoon arrives first in Kerala around June 1. It is expected to cover the rest of India by July 5.

"The spatial rainfall distribution has increa...