Chennai is famous for its summers, the sultry heat in particular. The month of May especially is its star performer. In what might come as an anti-climax to this sizzler month featuring agni-natchathiram, is the news that the hot and dry days we experienced this year were not… hot enough. Popular and trusted weather blogger Pradeep John’s post on June 1, summarising the month of May, came as a rude shock, a splash of ice cold water if you may, to residents of the city.
“Coolest May for Chennai in last 15 years…” he wrote, sharing his analysis of the weather chart. The weather blogger also shared a detailed weather chart with daily temperature recordings of the month of May taken from 2005 until 2021. The average temperature this May stands at 35.94 degree Celsius and is the first time it has recorded such a low figure.
Pradeep, according to his blog, says the city’s temperature levels did not even cross 37 degree Celsius until May 26 and this changed after Cyclone Yaas moved up to Odisha, triggering dry winds. “In 2021, Chennai average May Temperature was 35.94 C and out of the 31 days, 22 days the temperature was below 36 C, this is the highest number of less than 36 C by a huge margin,” he added. The hottest May has been in 2003 when temperature levels touched 45 degree Celcius in the city.
TNM reached out to Director of the Chennai Regional Meteorological Centre, N Puviyarasan, who confirmed this analysis and also added that not just Chennai but the rest of the state too witnessed comparatively lesser temperature this May. “Not just the city but in most of the places temperature levels stayed below the usual high. Due to the easterly winds, the temperature did not increase much,” he explained.
"Going through the last ten years' data, according to it, most parts of the state have recorded less than normal temperature this May. Many districts did not cross their maximum high temperatures," he added.
Pradeep too gives us the same clarification. “And I know many will comment that the lockdown was the reason for the coolest may (sic),” he brushed aside possible fake claims and added, “No, it is because of the prolonged easterlies from sea.”
Chennai also saw two rainy days this May and about this Pradeep wrote, “Now we can see the Chennai rainfall is just 40mm average in May and mostly this comes from the once in 6 years Cyclone based rainfall. Chennai has had rainfall in May month in 1990, 1995, 2004, 2010 and last one in 2016. And for rains to happen in Chennai in May month, the clouds have to come from Sea side and very rarely clouds will manage to reach from west but this year for the 1st time, i have seen 2 rainy days in May month on 21st and 22nd the clouds managed to reach Chennai from west just like in June month.”