AFTER A delayed onset followed by subdued activity, the Northeast monsoon has finally shown some signs of revival over the southern peninsular region.
Two consecutive streams of easterly winds have made the winter monsoon active. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned of heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning across Tamil Nadu, Karaikal, Puducherry, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Lakshadweep till November 18.
“A trough in the easterlies in lower levels is likely to affect the southern peninsula from November 15. Fairly widespread rain is forecast during the next four to five days,” read the Met department’s forecast issued on Friday.
Since the middle of this week, monsoon activity had picked up in parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. These states had, otherwise, not received any significant rain since October 28, when the Northeast monsoon arrived over the peninsula.
More than any other state, rainfall associated with the Northeast monsoon is crucial for Tamil Nadu, which receives 70 per cent of its annual rain between October and December.
But the IMD’s rainfall data between October 1 and November 12 suggests that Tamil Nadu recorded 50 per cent, Kerala recorded 65 per cent and Lakshadweep reported 37 per cent of the season’s rainfall since October 1 and remaining the most rain-deficient in the peninsula. As of November 11, the whole of the southern peninsula received only 7 per cent of normal rain for the season.
This year, the IMD forecast a below normal rainfall in the ongoing season over extreme southern parts of Tamil Nadu. One of the drivers for subdued rain was the prevailing La Nina conditions.
“During years when La Nina conditions prevail, the Northeast monsoon remains below normal,” said a senior meteorologist from National Weather Forecasting Centre, New Delhi.
La Nina is cooler than normal sea surface temperatures recorded along the East and central Pacific Ocean. It influences rainfall over India.
Other subdivisions in the South — Rayalaseema, interior Karnataka and coastal Andhra Pradesh — remain in the normal category, but rainfall continues to be deficient between 3 and 10 per cent this season.
Met officials have suggested some improvement in the rainfall scenario during the current spell. The easterly winds, in the coming days, will push the minimum temperatures in central parts of India. Clouding and associated thunderstorm is predicted over Maharashtra after November 15.
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