Deccan Chronicle

Monsoon drawing to close: 30% deficit

Deccan Chronicle| s. sujatha

Published on: December 19, 2013 | Updated on: Invalid date

TN is suffering from power shortage and drinking water scarcity apart from affecting agriculture.

Chennai: With barely two weeks to go for the northeast monsoon to come to an end this year, the current 30 per cent deficit rainfall is bad news for the state.

Tamil Nadu is already suffering from power shortage and the poor northeast monsoon will also lead to drinking water scarcity apart from affecting agriculture.

While the Met officials are expecting a low-pressure system to bring some rainfall to the southern districts in Tamil Nadu between Christmas and New Year, the possibility of monsoon revival is close to zero in the city.

"Except for Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts, all other regions in the state are reeling under deficit rainfall this season," said Dr Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai.

Weather blogger R. Pradeep John added that not even a single easterly wave affected Tamil Nadu this year, nor did it bring enough rainfall to the state.

This deficit rainfall is bound to create a serious challenge to water managers in Chennai on how to manage the looking drinking water shortage during the summer season next year.

"The state received rains only from cyclonic storms and even those two depressions that crossed Tamil Nadu gave rains for only one day each," John added.

While the season witnessed a record four cyclones— Phailin, Helen, Lehar and Madi — this year, but for the last one none of the others made landfall in Tamil Nadu.

Even Madi crossed the state only as a depression, bringing rains for only a day. The state has so far received a mean rainfall of 29.5 cm compared to a normal of 42 cm for the northeast monsoon season. 

Due to a poor NE monsoon, Chennai has realised only 43.6 cm rainfall compared to a normal of 81.7 cm for the period starting October 1 to December 18.

While depleting ground water levels raise a concern over water sources, the reservoir levels are also at an alarming low. 

However, Dr Raj said that the excess rain during the southwest monsoon had helped Chennai cross 100 cm (109 cm so far) of recorded rainfall in 2013.

But, out of a total 11.057 tmcft, the four reservoirs- Poondi, Sholavaram, Redhills and Chembarampakkam currently hold only 3.632 tmcft offering little cheer.

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