KOCHI: Even as the flood-ravaged Chennai city is struggling to return to normalcy, the rain data available with the Indian Meteorological Centre, Thiruvanthapuram, shows some significant changes in the rain patterns of the state, which indicates the increasing risk of drought and flood in the God’s Own Country in the coming years.
The statistics available with the IMD, Thiruvananthapuram, show that the intensity of alternate wet spells and dry spells have increased in the state during the South West and North East Monsoon seasons, which release over 90 per cent of the total annual rainfall of 300 cm that the state receives, over the past one decade.
In the last eight years, Kerala registered above normal rainfall during South West Monsoon only in 2011, 2013 and 2014, while it had a seasonal rainfall deficit in remaining five years. When it comes to North East Monsoon, the Kerala had registered above normal rainfall only in 2014, 2010 and 2009, and the state received below normal rainfall in remaining years.
It seems though the monsoon is an annual event, there has been considerable changes in the arrival, distribution and departure of the rain. K Santhosh, Director, Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, told ‘Express’ that the natural variation in seasonal monsoon is very common and visible in the recent years in the state and it is premature to reach any conclusion that it was as a result of climate change. If the change in the rain pattern is a result of climate change, it would be repeated in the next years as well. But here the pattern of rain seems to be changing every year, he said. Dr K M Sunil of the Academy Climate Change Education and Research, Kerala Agriculture University, said the change in the rain pattern has started to affect the cropping calender of the state. Paddy, pepper and vegetables are the worst affected and often the farmers have to readjust themselves to tide over the crisis created as a result of change in rainfall pattern. In many places, the monsoon has advanced to May, while the rainfall activity is subdued in June and July, the time which is traditionally suitable for planting saplings, and our Njattuvela calender has also taken a beating in the process, he said. According to experts, the silver lining in the cloudy sky over the state is that though there has been drastic changes in rain pattern, every year moisture laden winds blow in from the ocean without fail, rejuvenating the water-bodies, ground water tables and parched farmlands in state.