Today's Paper

Deficient rainfall in Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI, AUG. 21. Tamil Nadu and adjoining Pondicherry recorded ``deficient'' rainfall till now during the southwest monsoon. Between June 1 and the week ended August 18, they registered about 125 mm against the normal of 157 mm, a deviation of 21 per cent.

Fifteen districts recorded ``deficit'' rainfall, 10 districts normal, three scanty and one district ``excess.''

(According to meteorological standards, deficit rainfall means a deviation of minus 20-minus 59 per cent; scanty, minus 60-minus 99 per cent; normal minus 19-plus 19 per cent and excess plus 20 per cent and more).

Tiruneveli is the only district which received excess rainfall at 104 mm, against the normal of 54 mm. Chennai, Vellore, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram are among the ``deficient'' districts. The ``normal districts'' include Coimbatore, Karur, Salem, Theni and Tiruchi.

Kancheepuram, Tiruvarur and Tuticorin recorded scanty rainfall in the last two and a half months.

Heavy spells possible

However, meteorologists say, the position may change in some districts in the remaining period, considering that the State usually experienced rain when there was a lull in the monsoon in other parts of the country. In 2001, Tamil Nadu had a deficient rainfall till August-end but heavy rainspells in the second half of September changed the scene.

This year, the northwestern and central parts of the country experienced rain only since late July. ``Even now, a well-marked low pressure area lies over the coastal areas of Gangetic West Bengal and Orissa. Only after this system gets weakened, may Tamil Nadu receive heavy spells,'' says a meteorologist.

Among the deficient districts, Chennai received just 117 mm (normal 249 mm) during June 1-August 18. Madurai 99 mm (126 mm) and Ramanathapuram 50 mm (64 mm). Pondicherry registered 68 mm against the expected quantum of 160 mm, a deviation of minus 57 per cent.

Of the ``normal districts'', Tiruchi recorded 111 mm, seven mm more than normal. Karur received 101 mm (99 mm), Dharmapuri 182 mm (168 mm) and Coimbatore 100 mm (119 mm).