CHENNAI: The Northeast monsoon, which has played truant so far, is set to come alive as a cyclonic storm. It is likely to head towards Tamil Nadu in a few days. The well-marked low-pressure area over the north Andaman Sea and associated cyclonic circulation extending up to mid-tropospheric levels is likely to move northwestwards and concentrate into a depression during next 24 hours and into a cyclonic storm during the subsequent 24 hours, said a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday evening.
N Puviarasan, director, Agromet Advisory Service Unit, said the department was tracking the movement of the cyclonic system, but didn’t comment on whether it was heading towards Tamil Nadu. The official said that heavy rains would occur at isolated places over South Tamil Nadu, including Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli.
Weather models predict the system to move towards Tamil Nadu or Myanmar by November 15 and kick-start the wet spell in the North Tamil Nadu region, which has been out of action for extended period of time this season, sparking fear of monsoon failure.
However, there is no consensus on intensity of the incoming storm. The cyclone would form in open sea and move towards the land. In three days, there will be clarity. Meanwhile, officials said strong winds from the northeasterly direction reaching 35-45 kmph are likely along and off the south Tamil Nadu coast.
Rainfall data collected in the last 24 hours ending 8.30 pm on Friday shows that Sirkali in Nagapattinum received the highest rainfall of 7 cm and Nannilam in Tiruvarur 5 cm.
The maximum temperature in Chennai is 1.5 degrees Celsius above normal. The Nungambakkam weather station has recorded 31.2 degrees while Meenambakkam has recorded 31.1 degrees. The city is reeling under deficit rainfall of 49 per cent. Chennai has received 197.2 mm rainfall as against normal 390.2 mm rain between October 1 and November 9. Overall, Tamil Nadu is facing a deficit of 20 per cent. So, the revival of monsoon will be crucial for Tamil Nadu, especially, to sustain itself in terms of drinking water needs and the irrigation.