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Amid deluge in pockets, 15 districts record deficit rainfall

Meanwhile, the weather department has predicted heavy rain over hilly regions of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts for the next two days due to a low-pressure area over Arabian Sea

Amid deluge in pockets, 15 districts record deficit rainfall
Regional Meteorological Centre

CHENNAI: There cannot be a starker picture of the vagaries of monsoon: even as Chennai and its neighbourhood and southern districts, including worst-hit Thoothukudi, are yet to come out of the severe battering they received during the monsoon, the data from the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Chennai, reveal that as many as 15 districts recorded deficit rainfall this northeast monsoon.

That most of these districts are in the central part of the State, the Cauvery Delta that forms the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, also makes clear the agrarian crisis that Tamil Nadu faced, even though the overall data for the State would only show that the northeast monsoon was normal (4% excess than normal) in 2023.

According to the data from RMC, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Kanniyakumari, Virudhunagar and Tenkasi districts recorded substantially more rainfall than normal, or ‘large excess’ in meteorological parlance when the actual rainfall is 60 per cent or more of normal.

The highest was in Tirunelveli that reported 158 per cent extra, followed by Kanniyakumari with 97 per cent, Thoothukudi (84 per cent), Tenkasi (76 per cent) and Virudhunagar (66 per cent).

Interestingly, Tirunelveli district received large excess rainfall during southwest monsoon, too, with 126 per cent excess.

A few districts like Chennai, Tiruvallur, Erode, Coimbatore, Theni, Madurai, and Ramanathapuram reported excess (20 per cent to 59 per cent more than normal). For the record, Chennai recorded large excess (74 per cent) during the southwest monsoon.

Stunningly different is the story from the central and western parts of Tamil Nadu, where 15 districts recorded deficit rainfall. That is, Thanjavur, Ariyalur, Karur, Pudukkottai, Tiruchy and Perambalur in the Delta region, and Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirupattur, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Cuddalore and Salem had 20 per cent to 59 per cent less rainfall during this northeast monsoon.

The worst-affected district was Kallakurichi which received only 45 per cent rainfall, while Krishnagiri received only half as that of normal. The Delta districts, too, had around 40 per cent deficit.

Incidentally, Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai, Namakkal, Dindigul and Ranipet, too, reported lesser rain, though the meteorological department calculates it as ‘normal’ if the margin of variation is between -19 per cent to 19 per cent.

Meanwhile, the weathermen have issued forecast for heavy rain over hilly regions of Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari for the next two days due to a low-pressure area over the Arabian Sea. Some districts, including Chennai, are likely to witness a drop in minimum temperature in the coming days.

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