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Northeast monsoon arrives early in Tamil Nadu

T. Ramakrishnan

Meteorological Department confirms presence of low-pressure area over Tamil Nadu


  • Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh also experienced rain
  • Monsoon forecast not yet out

    CHENNAI: The northeast monsoon has arrived, bringing cheer to citizens and water managers alike.

    The Meteorological Department said in an official release, "The monsoon has been active over Tamil Nadu and Kerala." The current spell of rain was caused by the presence of a low-pressure area over the south-west bay and Tamil Nadu. Besides Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the adjoining areas of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh received rain in the last 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday.

    The maximum rainfall of 14 cm was recorded by Ponneri in Tiruvallur district, followed by Thanjavur - 11 cm, Chennai, Thuckalay, Melur, Devakottai and Tirupattur (Sivaganga district) - 9 cm each and Dindigul - 8 cm.

    On Thursday, rain or thundershowers are likely at most places in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala, many places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep, coastal and south interior Karnataka and a few places in Telengana and north interior Karnataka.

    Monsoon forecast

    Though the department has not yet come out with the monsoon forecast, the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, part of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, United States, in its climate outlook bulletin issued last month for Asia had said, "Enhanced probabilities for above normal precipitation are forecast for southern India and Sri Lanka."

    On an average, the State receives 48 cm rainfall during October-December, accounting for 50 per cent of the annual rainfall. Meteorologists feel that given the less predictable character of the monsoon, it is an uphill task to make any forecast.

    No satisfactory forecast model is available for the northeast monsoon. Different research organisations are working in this direction.

    What has gladdened water managers is that after a gap of eight years, the monsoon has arrived in the first half of October. The last time this happened was in 1997, when it set in on October 13.

    Since then, it has been in the second half of October or early November.

    In 1997, the State received 52 per cent more rainfall than normal.

    Except in 1998 when the State had excess rainfall, there was deficient or normal rainfall in the last seven years.

    During this year's southwest monsoon (June-September), Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry had normal rainfall with 29 cm against the anticipated 32 cm. Except for six districts with deficient rainfall and Tirunelveli recording excess, all others fell under the "normal" category. Chennai was among the deficient districts, receiving 32 cm against the normal 44 cm.

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