Southwest Monsoon 2017 to Roar back to life

Southwest Monsoon 2017 has been stuttering & pottering along so far like a broken down car on an Autobahn frequently stopping and stalling along the way.  The next few days is likely to be the first widespread active Monsoon spell for the West Coast  under the influence of the off shore trough that now runs from South Gujarat to Kerala. In all probability places like  Mumbai could see its first monsoon spell which typically brings the city to standstill before the Mumbai spirit takes over.

After a lot of efforts Southwest Monsoon has finally touched the border of Uttar Pradesh almost running behind by 10 days as many parts of South Gujarat have finally seen monsoon onset as well.  Things look good for further progress in the West Coast and Central Indian areas over the next day or two while West Bihar will come under monsoon possibly by early next week.

Closer home Villupuram & Salem districts recorded good rains during the evening while parts of South Chennai and suburbs recorded some light to moderate rains in many places from thunderstorms moving in from the interiors.  In a close miss for Chennai the bulk of the thunderstorms that formed around the Madanapallee / Chittor region did not dip enough taking them about 50 kms to the North of Chennai.

As mentioned in our opening remarks Southwest Monsoon, till now in a subdued phase, is likely to see its first active phase for West Coast with heavy spells of rains expected along the coast & Ghats all the way from Kerala till South Gujarat.  A few places in the Western Ghats could see very heavy rains as well under the active monsoon surge partially aided by the developing Low Pressure Area in North Bay.

A few places in Nilgiris, Tirunelveli & Kanyakumari particularly along the Western Ghats could see heavy rains with Nilgiris district in line for some heavy rains over the next couple of days and possible threat of landslides exist in these places.

With Westerlies expected to be very strong the rains are expected ease over most parts of East Coast along Tamil Nadu & South AP.  The trigger provided by sea breeze is likely to be absent with models indicating a poor sea breeze condition over the next day or two for Coastal TN.


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Chennai & Surrounding Areas receive good overnight Rains

After recording the hottest day in more than two weeks Good Overnight Rains lashed many parts of Chennai & Surrounding areas in the districts of Kanchipuram & Tiruvallur bringing much needed relief.  While the early evening gave some isolated thunderstorms through localized development in few areas of North Chennai it set the tone for the Sound & Light Show later in the night when thunderstorms from Rayalaseema region of South AP made their journey towards the sea under the influence of the Westerlies.

Not only Chennai and surrounding areas recorded good rains, parts of Salem & Vellore districts also recorded good rains as well.  These rains happened in the evening just as the thunderstorms over Rayalaseema region which started around the same time its journey towards the Coast.  In an indication of shape of things to come Coonoor in Nilgiris recorded good rains and Pechiparai in Kanyakumari district recoded moderate rains.  This possibly indicates the strengthening monsoon conditions over West Coast.

But the story of the day has to be the North Coastal Tamil Nadu which enjoyed the benefits of being right in line for the interior thunderstorms.  Less than 100 kms possibly separated the thunderstorms that formed in the North Interior districts of Tamil Nadu around Vellore & the ones that formed around Madanappalee in South Andhra Pradesh.  The thunderstorms near Vellore just stagnated around the area while the ones from South AP crossed the coast.  This possibly highlights the difficulty in estimating convective thunderstorms during off season and their possible movement.

Isolated rains are set to continue today as well with fair chance for Coastal areas of TN to pick up some more rains today.   Models are indicating below normal temperatures over North Coastal TN so would sea breeze advent happen and create some thunderstorms is a question mark.  But like yesterday there is some chance for Interior thunderstorms from South AP moving to the coast Chennai could get some luck from that possibly.

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Storage in Tamil Nadu Dams Remains Grim

It is more than three weeks since Southwest Monsoon started over the Indian Sub Continent but the storage levels over most dams & reservoirs of Tamil Nadu & the Cauvery Basin continue to be grim with no appreciable progress so far. More on that a little later as we quickly note the progress of Southwest Monsoon and the rainfall prospects for the day.

Southwest Monsoon has made some marginal progress over East India as it has further advanced into remaining parts of Chhattisgarh & Jharkhand some more parts of  Vidharba & Bihar, some parts of East Madhya Pradesh.  The Arabian Sea Branch continues to remain in a stalled manner with no progress what so ever for almost two weeks now.

Today we are likely to see isolated thunderstorms over parts of Tamil Nadu with possibly few places in South TN expected to see some rains like yesterday.  One or two places in the interiors to the West of Chennai could also see convective thunderstorms develop some of which could move towards the coast giving some rainfall possibilities to coastal TN.  Overall though the rains are expected to ease over the East Coast as models indicate monsoon to strengthen over the West Coast.

As mentioned in the opening lines of today’s post, despite Monsoon almost 3 weeks old there has been no visible improvement in either the Cauvery Basin dams or other important dams that benefit directly from Southwest Monsoon. While a case for panic is not necessary as of now with still almost 3 months of Monsoon left.  But it appears expecting the dams to fill up soon would be futile.  With things on the monsoon front expected to pick up in the coming days hopefully when we put out these numbers once again possibly around July 1st week things should show some progress.

But a couple of points that is worth pondering about though.  In this context it would possibly make sense for the farming community to refrain from taking up agriculture activities especially those who depend on river fed irrigation.   Similarly it would possibly make sense for the Government to focus on improving storage rather than try to increase discharge levels matching with inflow.  Sacrificing one season for the sake of bringing back long term benefits should be the key.

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Isolated thunderstorms for Tamil Nadu

Yesterday saw thunderstorms happen in Tamil Nadu at a few places though overall the spread of the thunderstorms was much lesser compared to the previous days.  Parts of South Tamil Nadu got some rains around Madurai, Sivagangai and Pudukottai districts with Devakottai recording about 29 mm rains.  In a case of sea breeze triggered localized development parts of South Chennai saw over head thunderstorms develop giving rains to a few areas.  Anna University recorded about 11 mm from this spell of rains.  It was highly localized to South Chennai with rest of the city going dry.

The day time temperature is expected to be above normal across most parts of the state except for possibly Chennai and its surrounding areas where the temperatures could be near normal or slightly below normal.  Parts of South Tamil Nadu around Tirunelveli / Virudhunagar could see sweltering conditions continue as has been the case for the last few days.

Isolated thunderstorms are likely to prevail over one or two places of Tamil Nadu with possibly the active South TN stretch of Madurai / Sivangana / Pudukottai likely to see another day of rains in few places.  As far as Coastal Tamil Nadu goes we could possibly see sea breeze triggered storms in a few places in Delta and North Coastal Tamil Nadu near Chennai.  Overall the rainfall pattern will be subdued like yesterday with the spread of rains limited to localized developments.

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