Rainfall patterns could become unpredictable in Chennai

Rainfall patterns in Chennai are likely to become more erratic over coming years, according to K Palanivelu, professor, Centre for  Environmental Studies, Anna University.

Published: 07th September 2017 02:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2017 09:12 AM   |  A+A-

The city's sky was a canvas of unusual colours late on Wednesday afternoon | D SAMPATHKUMAR

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Rainfall patterns in Chennai are likely to become more erratic over coming years, according to K Palanivelu, professor, Centre for  Environmental Studies, Anna University.“Average rainfall worth 30 days may fall in just three. The system will become more unpredictable,” said Palanivelu, speaking at an  international conference on challenges of groundwater issues in the context of climate change, organised by Anna University on Wednesday.

He observed that the occurence of consecutive wet days could reduce and frequency of extreme events could increase.Palanivelu studied the weather and temperature patterns of the city for a period of nearly four decades before coming to these conclusions. However, weather models are usually drawn up from century-long worth of data.  Professor S Janakarajan said that the city was not ready for even regular monsoons.

“Even without erratic monsoons, our city has very bad drainage per capita,” he said, while explaining that Chennai was not planned with the consideration of a coastal city.He commented that factors such as saltwater intrusion, hydro-geography, elevation, importance of ecological hotspots, gravity dynamics and watersheds have not been fully understood by bureaucrats.

While erratic rainfall cannot be corrected, one can be ready to combat it using an integrated approach to flood modelling, according to BV Mudgal, a member of Anna University’s Centre for Water Resources.
“Chennai has enough amount of rainfall, but not enough of it has been saved,” he added.

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