monsoon in india
Maharashtra: Normal life affected as rains lash Nashik Pictured: Commuters on their vehicles move through an underpass during a heavy rain shower. [Representational Image]Reuters

Southwest Monsoon will reach India earlier than the projected date of June 1, Skymet,  a private weather forecasting agency in India, said on Thursday. Monsoon is expected to hit Indian shores between May 18 and 20 and then spread to the rest of the country.

It is expected to reach the Andaman and Nicobar islands first and then move to Kerala between May 28 and 30. Chennai and Karnataka will receive monsoon showers on June 1, while rainfall in Hyderabad and Panjim will begin a day apart, on June 6 and 7, according to Skymet.

However, the Centre predicted the beginning of monsoon at a later date. It will arrive in South Kerala on May 31, YS Chowdary, the Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, according to Zee News. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) will announce the dates for monsoon on May 15, he added.

Metro cities like Kolkata and Mumbai can expect the monsoon to alleviate the weather conditions by the second week of June. Delhi, however, will have no respite from heat until July 1.

Among other cities, Jaisalmer will receive monsoon showers the latest, on July 12, according to Skymet. The Southwest Monsoon is expected to cover all of India before July 15. Drought-ridden states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are expected to receive monsoon showers between the second and third week of June.

The IMD had predicted in April that rainfall will be above normal in 2016. It estimated that monsoon will be 106 percent of the average of 89 cm, according to the Hindu.

"The monsoon will be fairly well distributed but southeast India will get slightly less rain," IMD Director General Laxman Rathore was quoted as saying by the Hindu.