January 22, 2022 6:21:24 pm
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Saturday declared that as the rainfall associated with the northeast monsoon came to an end, south India had received 579.1mm rain, the highest since 1901.
The northeast monsoon is confined to south India and brings rainfall from October to December over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Mahe and south interior Karnataka. Also known as the winter monsoon, the associated rainfall is caused by low-pressure systems, depressions and also cyclones. This is the main rainfall season for Tamil Nadu, which receives 48 per cent (447.4mm) of its annual rain quota during these three months.
The October-December 2021 season was a historically wet one, with south India recording a whopping 171 per cent surplus rainfall–579.1mm, the highest ever since 1901, as per the Statement of Annual Climate of India 2021, released by the IMD.
This despite no cyclones forming in October and November, two months considered among the most favourable for cyclone development. This was in stark contrast to the 2020 northeast monsoon season, when Cyclone Nivar and Cyclone Burevi affected the southern states and east coast regions of the country.
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However, frequent low-pressure systems formed in the Bay of Bengal kept the northeast-monsoon winds active over south India last year. Cyclone Jawad and associated weather formed in the Bay of Bengal in early December brought ample rain over coastal Andhra Pradesh and its neighbourhood.
Since the monsoon’s onset on October 27 and December 31, Kerala recorded 109 per cent and 26 per cent surplus rain in 2021 and 2020 respectively. Karnataka last year recorded a surplus of 104 per cent rainfall compared with what it received in 2020. This season Tamil Nadu and Puducherry recorded 59 per cent excess, while in 2020 it was six per cent. Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam received 40 per cent and 24 per cent excess rain in 2021 and 2020 respectively.
The IMD’s week-wise rainfall progress for the October-December period suggested that all southern meteorological subdivisions received either normal, excess or large-excess rainfall during the northeast monsoon season, with an exception over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam, where normal rainfall picked up post mid-November.
Last season the rainfall ceased on January 19, 2021.
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