Many places, particularly interior parts of Tamil Nadu, sizzled with summer-like temperature on Thursday. The Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, has predicted that the above average temperature will continue for three or four more days in the State and chances of rain are slim and restricted to only a few pockets.
Dry weather and weak southwest monsoon conditions in southern parts of the country had led to soaring mercury level on Thursday. Madurai Airport has consistently recorded the day temperature above the 40-degree mark for seven days. On Thursday, Madurai experienced a heatwave like conditions as Madurai Airport recorded 41.6 degrees Celsius, nearly 4.5 degrees Celsius above normal day temperature. This was the highest temperature registered in the State for the day.
The day temperature rose to 40 degrees Celsius in Thoothukudi and Madurai city and many other places like Thanjavur, Parangipettai, Nagapattinam, Erode and Cuddalore experienced sweltering weather with mercury rising beyond 39 degrees Celsius.
Chennai too reeled under the scorching heat as the maximum temperature climbed to a high of 38.1 degrees Celsius and 38 degrees Celsius in Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam respectively.
Officials of the India Meteorological Department said uncomfortable weather may prevail as maximum temperature is likely to be around 38-40 degrees Celsius at one or two places over the State on Friday and Saturday.
S. Balachandran, Additional Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said unfavourable atmospheric stability conditions that did not allow vertical growth of clouds led to direct sunlight and dry weather in the State. There may not be widespread rain spell covering most parts of the State for three or four days.
Chance of light rain
However, Chennai has a chance of light rain on Friday and Saturday because of a weak trough. The absence of sea breeze in coastal places like Chennai also added to the weather woes. Isolated pockets in the State may have occasional rains.
Such sweltering heat has occurred in the past when there was a break in monsoon conditions, said Mr. Balachandran and added that Madurai had experienced hot days in August on five occasions since 1950. For instance, the day temperature touched 40.6 degrees Celsius on August 23, 2004 and 40.6 degrees Celsius on August 2, 2012.
Similarly, Chennai recorded 39.7 degrees Celsius on August 23, 2004 and 39.1 degrees Celsius on August 9, 2009. The all-time high temperature of 40 degrees Celsius was recorded in Nungambakkam on August 5, 1918.