Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov. 13

EVEN while cooling its heels after a hectic run over the peninsula, the northeast monsoon has been kicking up enough rain in parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to make many people wonder if the worst is over yet.

Upper air cyclonic circulations on either side of the peninsula, remnants of what have been previously `low's, are now doing a tango over extreme south peninsula. The show is expected to go on for at least two more days.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its bulletin that the northeast monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala and active over South Tamil Nadu. Rainfall occurred at most places over Kerala, at many places over south Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep, and at a few places over North Tamil Nadu as well. Isolated rainfall occurred over coastal and south interior Karnataka.

The following stations recorded heavy rainfall (in cm): Kannur (Kerala) 10; Shenkottai, Thovalai and Cochin International Airport 9 each; Nagercoil 8; Pamban, Ramanathapuram, Coonoor and Kozhikode 7 each; Karaikal, Udumalpet, Radhapuram and Sathankulam 6 each; and Mudukulathur, Ketti, Kothagiri, Aminidivi and Mangalore Airport 5 each.

According to the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), the upper air cyclonic circulation over southwest Bay of Bengal persisted on Sunday, as did the counterpart circulation over southeast Arabian Sea.

Under the influence of these systems, fairly widespread rains with isolated heavy falls are likely over coastal Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep during the next 48 hours. The rainfall is expected to reduce thereafter.

Only scattered light to moderate rainfall are expected over Tamil Nadu, south Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Kerala for three days starting Tuesday.

Model predictions suggest that a `western disturbance' (low-pressure systems originating in the Mediterranean or Caspian Sea) is likely to approach Jammu and Kashmir by Wednesday and cause isolated to scattered rains/snow over the region for three days.

Excess in AP, TN: Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu maintained their rainfall surplus records almost one month after the northeast monsoon set in over the peninsula around October 10.

Statistics as on November 9 (in percentage figures) put out by the IMD reveals that all three meteorological subdivisions in Andhra Pradesh - Rayalaseema (+116), Telengana (+95) and Coastal Andhra Pradesh (+88) - made a real splash of things during the period under reference. Some of the significant rainfall gains in districts are: Mahabubnagar (+180); Kurnool and Adilabad (+154 each); Chittoor (+136); Hyderabad (+131) and Vizianagaram (+130).

In the meteorological sub-division of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, 26 out of the 31 districts had excess rainfall. Three others - Virudhunagar (+13), Dindigul (+7) and Kanyakumari (-9) - romped home with normal rainfall while Tirunelveli (-51) and Tuticorin (-34) ran up significant deficits, the only two to do so.

Even here, the statistics are expected to improve a bit what with the rain belt having concentrated over these southern districts over the past few days. Kerala and Lakshadweep is the only met subdivision where the northeast monsoon has continued its indifferent run. Only two districts had posted rainfall surpluses as on November 9. Eight others managed a normal while the rest five were in deficit.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 14, 2005)
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