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Tuesday, Dec 14, 2004

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N-E monsoon showing signs of withdrawal

Vinson Kurian

Cumulative seasonal rainfall in the post-southwest monsoon has been excess/normal in 20 out of 36 meteorological divisions.

Thiruvananthapuram , Dec. 13

THE low-pressure area over southwest Bay of Bengal, which has lingered for more than a week now, will probably be the last of the ongoing northeast monsoon and could well signal the end of the season.

The system is expected to last for about 7-10 days bringing good rain to Tamil Nadu and Kerala at the least, according to Dr M. Rajeevan, Director (Forecasting), India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune.

"Even after this gets over, we can look forward to some rain over the extreme southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in January next," he told Business Line.

According to the IMD forecast for the next 24 hours, the Bay system was likely to track a west-northwestward course.

Under its influence, rain or thundershowers have been forecast for a few places in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry; isolated places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kerala and Lakshadweep. Mainly dry weather will prevail in the rest of the region.

Cumulative seasonal rainfall in the post-southwest monsoon (October 1 to December 1) has been excess/normal in 20 out of 36 meteorological divisions in the country.

It has been deficient/scanty in the other 16, thanks largely due to the long break in the northeast monsoon since the second week of November.

Most parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala had to go without any significant rainfall activity over a period of the past month or so.

Not surprisingly, the all-India weighted rainfall for the week ending December 1 edged below normal by 42 per cent (2.9 mm `actual' against 4.9 mm `normal').

But the all-India weighted rainfall for the entire post-southwest monsoon period (till December 1) was below normal by only one per cent.

This can be attributed to the fact that the northwest region (+47 per cent) and the northeast (+17 per cent) were subjected to some wet spell during the period under reference by the western disturbances.

This was matched only by restrained weather conditions in Central India (-26 per cent) and the Southern peninsula (-9 per cent) that contributed to the dent in overall post-southwest monsoon rainfall activity (107.5 mm `actual' against 108.3 mm `normal' - below normal by one per cent).

The rains likely to be brought in by the prevailing circulation in the Bay are crucial for covering this shortfall and make it a `normal northeast monsoon' this year.

Central India, which is under the influence of a prevailing anti-cyclonic circulation in the lower levels, will continue to experience fair weather conditions sans rain.

Western disturbances are expected to continue to bring wet weather and snow in some areas in the North and Northwest and foggy conditions in others.

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