The State has received 10 cm less rainfall for period between Oct. 1 and Nov. 22

Tamil Nadu appears to be heading towards a deficit northeast monsoon this time. As of date, the State has received 22 cm, a shortfall of 10 cm for the period between October 1 and November 22. In other words, the State is suffering from 30 per cent deficit in rainfall.

For the entire season (October 1 to December 31), the State should get 43 cm, which means that in the remaining weeks, there has to be 21 cm rainfall. Ordinarily, the State receives more rain in the months of October and November than December. Given this scenario, it looks that the State may not be able to wipe out the shortfall.

However, Y.E. A. Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, does not sound pessimistic about the outlook for rainfall in the remaining part of the season.

He says that though December is known to see less rainfall than the other monsoon months, there have been instances when the State received heavy rainfall in the month. Referring to the cyclone ‘Thane’ that crossed the coast near Cuddalore in December 2011, Dr. Raj says then, the State ended up with 23 per cent excess rainfall for the season. “If we have rainfall for three-four days at a stretch, it is possible to get 10 to 15 cm,” he says.

Talking of the rainfall patterns in different regions of the State,Dr. Raj points out that it is during October and November that the interior parts — Salem and Dharmapuri — receive most of their rainfall for the season.

Only coastal districts continue to get a good amount of rainfall in December. But, this time, the chances are becoming remote for a coastal area like Nagapattinam to achieve normal rainfall.

Of 32 districts, only seven districts have recorded a normal rainfall which means a deviation ranging from minus 19 per cent to plus 19 per cent — Dharmapuri, Kanyakumari, Krishnagiri, The Nilgiris, Perambalur, Tirunelveli and Tiruvannamalai. All others have deficit rainfall.