Sudden rains, which soaked parts of the city on Monday, were attributed to various factors

Chennaiites woke up to a rain-soaked Monday morning, quite a rare occurrence for the city in February. Mild showers sent ripples of excitement through the city as residents experienced the year’s first spell of rain.

Murky skies and a rapid dip in the day temperature to 27.3 degree Celsius in Nungambakkam and 27.7 degree Celsius in Meenambakkam, nearly three degrees below average, made for a pleasant start to the week.

The meteorological department attributed the sudden showers to various factors, including a low-level cyclonic circulation at 1.5 km above sea level, and an upper-air westerly trough higher than that.

Several areas, including Chetpet, Villivakkam, T. Nagar and Sholinganallur received rains in the early hours. However, only a few rain gauges such as those in Kolapakkam (7 mm) and Padur (12 mm) registered considerable rainfall. While Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam registered close to one cm due to overnight showers, they recorded only a trace of rain during the day.

While many residents said that they were happy to take out their umbrellas, some like S. Aparna who works in Nungambakkam sought permission to start late to work to enjoy the weather. “The sky was quite overcast and I had to check the clock at least twice to confirm it was past seven a.m. I wanted to take a break from the mundane busy morning and started late to work. I was happy that I did not have to water my plants for the first time in many days,” she said.

Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said only four per cent of the weather stations across the State recorded rainfall that was mostly restricted to northern parts of the State. Kelambakkam had registered the highest rainfall of 3 cm.

Weather bloggers like Pradeep John also attributed the showers to a line of wind discontinuity, an abrupt change in wind direction at a height of 1 to 2 km in the atmosphere. He said that this would bring more rains in areas such as those in the Nilgiris district close to Karnataka.

Mild showers are expected on Tuesday too, and humidity levels will rise because of high moisture content in the air.

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