New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Monsoon arrived in Delhi Sunday, a good fortnight ahead of schedule while parts of north India continued to receive heavy showers as the southwest monsoon advanced further into the central and north regions, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The monsoon this year had set over Kerala on schedule June 1 and advanced fast, covering the southern, eastern and central states within two weeks.
In northern India, pre-monsoon showers over the last three days had brought respite from the sweltering heat.
In Delhi, the monsoon arrived way ahead of its scheduled June 29 date.
"Monsoon has reached Delhi. It is two weeks ahead of the schedule," an IMD official said, attributing this quick advance of monsoon to a low pressure area in central India.
"The low pressure area that has been formed in the area around west Madhya Pradesh has resulted in the early setting of the monsoon here," added the official.
"Around 19 millimetre (mm) rainfall has been recorded in the capital since 8.30 a.m. (Sunday). The rainfall is expected to continue for the next two to three days," added the official.
Various parts of the capital received a substantial quantity of rain, which resulted in accumulation of water and choked drains in many places, as well as affecting traffic in various places.
The southwest monsoon reached Himachal Pradesh Saturday, 10 days in advance, with most of the hill state experiencing moderate to heavy rainfall, the meteorological office in Shimla said.
Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and parts of Delhi have also been receiving showers.
According to IMD director B.P. Yadav, there is nothing unusual about the showers and in the past too, the city had seen monsoon advancing by several days.
"It will be good for grain bowl states of Punjab and Haryana," Yadav said.
The monsoon rainfall is important for crop production in the country and has significant impact on the economy.
The months of June and July are the sowing season for Kharif (summer) crops like paddy and pulses.
A good monsoon this year can prove important for the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ahead of general elections next year, as it can hold down inflation and give fillip to the economy.