(Bloomberg) -- India’s monsoon, a weather event so vital for the economy that it’s capable of influencing interest-rates, has finally arrived in the country after the longest delay in four years. 

Widespread rains occurred over the southern coast of Kerala in the past 24 hours, marking the start of a four-month rainy season, R.K. Jenamani, a senior scientist at India Meteorological Department, said in a text message.

The monsoon has a normal start date of June 1. This year’s arrival is the most delayed since 2019, when the onset was also on June 8, according to data from the weather bureau. The bureau had predicted a June 4 onset with a margin of error of four days. A storm contributed to the delay.

Climate change has made the monsoon more difficult to forecast. It’s not clear if the delay will affect the amount of rain India receives over the full season, which usually accounts for about 75% of the annual rainfall the country needs to water farms. A later onset can impact the arrival of rain in some parts of the country and affect the timely sowing of crops like rice, corn and soybeans.

Read more: RBI Warily Eyes Monsoon Impact on Inflation With Policy Hold

India has predicted a normal monsoon this year, with rainfall likely to be 96% of the long-term average. This has helped soothe concerns about inflation for now, though analysts are closely monitoring weather risks as the development of an El Niño event and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole could impact rainfall.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.