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Increased rainfall likely by Saturday

P. Venugopal

The wind is yet to pick up to the levels of speed ideal for heavy rainfall

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The weather outlook according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) suggests increased rainfall activity along the West Coast by Saturday, bringing hopes of the monsoon gathering in strength over Kerala.

Tracing the progress of monsoon over rest of the country, most regions of which have received above normal rainfall so far this season unlike Kerala, the IMD web site on Wednesday said the West Coast was set to witness more rain by Saturday.

The IMD based this forecast on what is called ‘numerical weather products,’ or various factors that govern the dynamics of the monsoon.

As of Wednesday, the wind was yet to pick up to the levels of speed ideal for heavy rainfall over Kerala. The speed of the moisture-laden southwest wind blowing into the State from the Arabian Sea was hovering in the region of 20 nautical miles (1 nautical mile is 1.8 km per hour), while ideally it should touch the level of 25 to 30 nautical miles, said M.D. Ramachandran, director, Thiruvananthapuram Meteorology Centre.

According to the IMD’s rain data, overall rainfall in the State from June 1 to 18 was 38 per cent below the 50-year average level. Against a 50-year average of 37.6 cm during this period, the State received only 23.4 cm of rainfall.

The only districts in the State that received normal rainfall so far this season were Kasaragod and Kozhikode. Rainfall was very scanty in Thiruvananthapuram district (66 per cent below normal) and Kollam district (65 per cent below normal). The districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kannur, Kottayam, Malappuram, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur and Wayanad experienced rainfall deficiencies ranging between 20 and 59 per cent.

Idukki district, where the larger hydro-electric power stations are located, experienced 39 per cent deficient rainfall.

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