A fresh low-pressure area has formed over the South-East Bay of Bengal and adjoining North Andaman Sea this morning, and India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects it to gradually concentrate into a depression as it reaches the central parts of the South Bay (more than a 1,000 km away from the Tamil Nadu-South Andhra Pradesh coast) by tomorrow or early day-after. 

The system will bring widespread rainfall with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places over the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the nearest land feature, today. As it advances towards the coast, the IMD has forecast heavy rainfall at isolated places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Karaikal and South Coastal Andhra Pradesh on Sunday and Monday. 

Fishermen warning for Bay

Fishermen are advised not to venture into South-East Bay and adjoining Andaman Sea today, and over South-West and adjoining South-East Bay of Bengal tomorrow; over South-West and adjoining West-Central Bay of Bengal and Sri Lanka coast and along and off the South Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu-Puducherry coasts during Saturday to Monday, an IMD warning said. 

Meanwhile, the Busan, South Korea-based APEC Climate Centre, has said in its latest monthly outlook, the South Peninsula will continue to receive normal to above-normal rainfall in December and January, 2023. It could turn out to be an excess for the North Tamil Nadu coast, including Chennai., during the two months. This goes to reiterate its earlier prediction about a likely extended North-East monsoon this year, based on a La Nina in the tropical Pacific that has outlived its term. 

Extended N-E monsoon?

The above-normal rainfall would apply to Telangana and adjoining parts of West Maharashtra (Marathwada, Madhya Maharashtra, and Goa) while being deficit in the rest of the country. The deficit will be the maximum along parts of the hills of North-West India (western Himalayas), including Uttarakhand, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and western parts of Jammu & Kashmir. 

Almost a similar pattern of weather will pan out during February, with the excess rainfall regime over North Coastal Tami Nadu extending into the South and adjoining southern parts of Kerala. As for Sri Lanka, the southern parts of the island nation, too, will make gains in January, unlike in December. In February though, there is change from the Busan centre’s earlier outlook. 

Some deficit in February

Most of North-West India (except Uttar Pradesh) will likely witness above-normal rainfall, with West-Central India too joining the party. It will be above normal for Rajasthan, Gujarat, and western parts of Madhya Pradesh, while below-normal for Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Odisha, Vidarbha and the rest of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, almost the entire Karnataka, and the North-Eastern States. 

Southern parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and parts of Coastal Karnataka and Sri Lanka to the South will be the only exception and may enjoy some rain in February. In March though, the situation will be reversed with above-normal rainfall returning to most parts of the country, except in Gujarat, and parts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, and adjoining North Coastal Tamil Nadu.