More rain is expected in Tamil Nadu from November 19, even as the state takes stock of the damage wreaked by Cyclone Gaja. A low pressure area that has formed over the Bay of Bengal will bring in much-needed rain to Chennai, but will then move on to northern coastal and interior districts that are still recovering from the heavy cyclonic winds that caused loss of life and property this week.
According to the IMD, the low pressure area is likely to strengthen over the next 24 hours and will move north to make landfall on the Tamil Nadu coast. It will not, however, intensify into a cyclone, the meteorological department told the media. Cyclone Gaja, which made landfall near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam on November 16, has already claimed 45 lives across the state, according to a statement released by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Sunday. The cyclone, which went on to affect many other districts, including Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Dindigul and Trichy, also caused huge loss of property.
“From November 19, there will be moderate rains in Chennai and heavy to very heavy rain in other northern coastal districts. On November 20, interior districts as well as Puducherry will see rains,” says Balachander, the Met department director. Fishermen were further advised not to venture out into specific portions of the sea based on the wind direction.
‘Nature’s balancing act’
Weather experts are touting that the low pressure will lead to showers in areas that are yet to see rainfall this season.
According to weather expert Srikanth, who runs the Chennai rains blog, the state capital will get fairly good rains on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“I am expecting about 15-20 centimetres of rain over the next few days. One of the spells is likely to be very heavy. This is important because we have a deficit rainfall of over 50%. These showers will at least make the deficit smaller,” he says. “Northern districts like Tiruvannamali, Vellore, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri are yet to see rain. So this is good for them too,” he adds.
Weather enthusiast and blogger Pradeep John, also known as the Tamil Nadu weatherman, says this rainfall will prove to be make or break for Chennai.
“This low depression being a rain-filled system will affect Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Chennai, Villupuram, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai and Pondy will all see heavy rains and some places are going to see very heavy rains,” he writes. “For Chennai, it will be make or break system. And at least two days we should get very heavy rains. The areas missed by rains during Gaja to get Nature balancing act (sic),” he adds.
Both experts, however, agree that delta districts have difficult times ahead.
“Delta regions affected by cyclone Gaja might see rains from 19th and 20th, and on 20th very heavy rains can be expected for places already affected by cyclones,” writes Pradeep.