Day temperature dipped to 30 degrees Celsius, one degree below normal
After a spell of dry weather that lasted more than a month, Chennaiites woke up to murky skies and heavy showers on Friday.
Several parts of the city and its neighbourhood, including Tambaram and Poonamallee, received heavy showers that lasted for over an hour in the morning.
It came as a surprise to many office-goers and school children.
“I thought it was another cloudy day when I left home for office. But, it rained heavily for nearly an hour,” said Archana of Kilpauk. The day temperature dipped to 30 degrees Celsius, one degree below normal.
Poonamallee and Kolapakkam registered the highest amount of 3 cm between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. on Friday. Sholinganallur received 2 cm. Other stations, including Meenambakkam, Nungambakkam, Madhavaram, Avadi and Chembarambakkam received one cm and a little over one cm during the same period.
Residents, especially those in fringes of the city, who are largely dependent on groundwater, were hopeful the bout of rainfall would help recharge the resource.
However, some residents of Old Washermenpet complained that Parthasarathy Bridge Road had turned slippery following rains and motorists ran the risk of accidents near the site of Metro Rail work.
Officials of the Meteorological department attributed the rainfall to a weak low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. Several parts of southern Tamil Nadu had already begun receiving showers since Wednesday. Cauvery delta districts such as Tiruvarur received good rainfall and this rain belt had spread to northern districts.
Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said the easterly wind prevails, even after the northeast monsoon, till April.
Sometimes, it generates moisture and brings rain. Showers during February are not uncommon and in the last two decades, rains during winter months have increased, he said.
In 2011, the city received nearly 8 cm in a single day, the highest amount of rain in the decade. However, there was no rain last year.
The weather models indicate there would be an increase in showers over the next three days.
The department forecasts one or two spells of rain or thundershowers in some areas and the day temperature would be around 27 degrees Celsius during the weekend.