Fresh low pressure area over southwest Bay of Bengal may extend wet weather over Tamil Nadu

Regional Meteorological Centre issues red alert for three southern districts today

Updated - May 19, 2024 07:47 am IST

Published - May 19, 2024 12:47 am IST - CHENNAI

Rain respite: Wet weather would keep the day temperature below average or normal till May 24.

Rain respite: Wet weather would keep the day temperature below average or normal till May 24. | Photo Credit: N. Rajesh

A fresh low pressure area that is likely to form over the southwest Bay of Bengal around May 22 may extend the wet weather over Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, the ongoing intense rain spell in parts of the State is expected to continue, particularly over the southern districts and the Western Ghats till Wednesday.

The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) has issued a ‘red alert’ till Monday for southern districts, including Tenkasi, Tirunelveli and Theni, indicating chances of extremely heavy rainfall of over 20.4 cm in one or two places and urging authorities to be prepared and take action.

A cyclonic circulation over south interior Tamil Nadu and activity in the Arabian sea have triggered downpour in several places. Besides, widespread rain of light to moderate intensity may lash most places in the State till Wednesday, with gusty winds reaching a speed of 40 kmph to 50 kmph. Some north interior regions such as Perambalur and Ariyalur too may get heavy rain.

On Sunday, six districts, including Coimbatore and Tiruppur, are likely to get heavy to very heavy rainfall and five other districts, including Madurai and Pudukottai, heavy rainfall. A similar weather pattern may continue in the State till May 22.

While the intensity of rainfall may dip after Wednesday, wet weather would keep the day temperature below average or normal till May 24. Light to moderate rain is likely in some parts of Chennai till Monday. During the past 24 hours, ending 8.30 a.m. on Saturday, several places received rain. Three weather stations recorded very heavy rainfall of above 11 cm. Coonoor and Mettupalayam received the highest rainfall of the day, at 17 cm each.

Chances less for cyclone

The low pressure area brewing over the Bay of Bengal has raised predictions of wet spell persisting over the State. The weather system that will form on Wednesday is likely to strengthen into a depression by May 24. However, meteorologists say that as of now, chances were less for the system to intensify into a cyclone.

P. Senthamarai Kannan, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Chennai, said that weather models now indicated the system to move along the coast and may not intensify into a cyclone. While there was a possibility for rainfall in the State, there would be more clarity on its intensity only after the prevailing weather systems move away.

The persisting rainfall has shrunk Tamil Nadu’s rain deficit to 22% for the season. Since March 1, the State has received an overall rainfall of nearly 8 cm. Udhagamandalam (4 cm), Kovilpatti (3 cm) and Valparai (2 cm) were among the places that recorded rainfall between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. on Saturday.

The day temperature remained close to or below normal in the State, with Erode logging 38.4 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature for the day.

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