Decoding Agni Natchathiram 2017 – Sedate Start Expected

When April turns into May one of the most often asked questions in Tamil Nadu is “When does Agni Natchathiram Start? Agni Natchathiram or “Kathiri Veyyil” as it is sometimes called coincides with the hottest period according to Hindu Almanac.  If one looks at weather data for the past years the temperature pattern or the interior places in Tamil Nadu do not show any significant difference between the 2nd fortnight of April & 1st fortnight of May while for coastal places like Chennai the real summer starts when the Westerly winds show their strength typically during the 2nd fortnight of May.

So what is in store for this year’s Agni Natchathiram? 

Going by how models are estimating the next few days we can look at possibly a sedate start to Agni Natchathiram 2017 with Easterly winds holding sway over Peninsular India and moderating the weather pattern in particular over the coastal areas.  Add to it the seasonal thunderstorm activity due to the changing wind patterns is also creating increased cloudiness over many parts of the region reducing the solar radiation as well.

Model outputs on the Temperature Anomaly front indicate a near normal temperature pattern for most of Tamil Nadu with South TN possibly seeing marginally hotter conditions.  Places like Chennai is likely to see closer to normal day time conditions.  The mean maximum temperature for Chennai Nungambakkam during May is 36.1°C. Interestingly most of AP & Telengana could possibly see lower than normal temperatures indicating the sustenance of thunderstorm activity during the period keeping a check on the temperatures.

Models are estimating an increased surge of surface Westerlies from Mid May coinciding with sub continent getting ready for the onset of Southwest Monsoon 2017.  While its too early to say but initial indications are we could possibly see a spell of deadly Northwesterly winds over Peninsular India during the second fortnight of May which could increase the heat index over Chennai as history says Chennai’s hottest days typically coincide with those time when Land Breeze from NW carrying heat from Rayalaseema region are at their strongest.

Whether the 2nd fortnight will see very strong land breeze we need wait and see but it appears “Agni Natchathiram 2017” will possibly bloom late.

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