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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Cyclone Jal brought rain to districts, not city

Though Cyclone Jal did not bring much rain to Chennai, many of the interior districts received copious amount of rain. “At least 10 districts in the state received substantial amount of rain,” said Dr Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of the Regional Meteorological Center (RMC) here. “Interestingly, some of the drier districts got more rain that the usual rain-prone regions.”

Districts that received good rains over the last few days include Gingee (16cms), Panruti (15cms), Ambur (13cms), Tiruvannamalai (12cms), Villupuram (10cms), Tindivanam (10cms), Polur and Vandavasi (8cms). Even Chengalpattu (8cms) and Tiruvallur (7cms) districts received more rainfall than Chennai.

However, the good news for Chennaiites is that even though the northeast monsoon has been active only for a couple of weeks, the city has already received the average annual rainfall for the year.

“The annual rainfall for the city is 122 cms and we have already received 116 cms of rain so far, this year,” said Dr Raj. “We still have at least five to six weeks of active monsoon season. As in the recent past, Chennai is likely to receive above average rainfall this year too.”

Weather experts say that there has been a substantial increase in the amount of rains received by the city over the last 40 years. “Our records indicate that the annual rainfall for Chennai between 1969 and 2009 has been around 140 cms, which is a significant increase from the earlier years when the average was just around 122 cms,” said a senior official of RMC.

Despite this, the city is usually projected as a water-starved metropolis because of the exponential growth in population and the hot, humid climate. “We have water scarcity only during summer because we are bad at managing rainwater and not because there is not enough rain,” said the official.

“We are getting more rain now than ever before.” added the official of the meteorological center .

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