With rain marring visibility, traffic was thrown out of gear in several parts; more downpour expected over the next two days

Residents, who were expecting yet another hot Monday, were in for a surprise as showers lashed several parts of the city in the evening.

Hawkers, who did not expect the sudden rains, were forced to wind up business early. Traffic slowed to a crawl in many arterial roads, as rains marred visibility.

P. Rohini who works in Nungambakkam, said: “I assumed it was going to be just another cloudy evening and did not expect it to rain. I had to spend an extra hour in office in order to avoid getting drenched.”

In the suburbs, the heavy showers flooded Grand Southern Trunk between Tambaram and Chromepet, throwing traffic out of gear. Stagnation of water in West Tambaram, Tambaram Sanatorium and outside Chromepet police station, which has now become a regular feature every time it rains, resulted in the traffic gridlock during evening rush hour.

The skies opened up a little past 4 p.m., and it continued to pour for two hours.

 School and college buses and buses transporting employees from industries and software companies were trapped in traffic chaos all the way between Tambaram and Chromepet. S. Narasimhan, a former Pallavaram municipal councillor said the problem in Chromepet was due to the improper design of the culvert (minor bridge) constructed by the State Highways Department more than an year ago, and also due to the narrow entry and exit points at the culvert.

A combination of factors contributed to Monday’s showers — besides convective activity, an upper air circulation over the Andhra Pradesh coast brought in rainfall to the northern region of the State, including Chennai.

The day temperature went up to 35 degree Celsius in both Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam, one degree above normal.

Rain gauges in Ennore, Nungambakkam, Madhavaram and Meenambakkam received one cm of rainfall in two hours from 4 p.m. onwards. Chembarampakkam recorded double the amount of rain during the same period.

Officials of the meteorological department said the seasonal rainfall over the State still remains deficit by 18 per cent despite scattered rainfall over the last few days. “We expect the rains to continue for two or three days in the northern parts of the State. But we have to wait longer to assess if the rainfall deficit will be bridged this month,” said Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai.

Chennai needs 6 more cm of rain to reach the level of rainfall received normally during this season. Meteorological officials said weather models show that rainfall would decrease in a few days and intensify next week.

For Tuesday and Wednesday, the department forecasts that rains or thundershowers may occur in some areas. But the maximum temperature will be around 35 degree Celsius.

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