As we get closer to Pongal we get to the period where farmers of Tamil Nadu get ready for the harvest of their long term Paddy crops across most parts of the state. It is often said among the farming community they can heave a sigh of relief if the crops come out unscathed by the time mid Margazhi comes. The crops are closer to maturity & possibly the rain damage / flooding also fades away allowing the farmers to pick and choose the time of the harvest right on cue for Pongal festival depending on when they chose to sow their crops. Hence this post becomes vital as a measure of giving advance notice about a possible rainfall activity that could play spoilsport to parts of Coastal Tamil Nadu. We will explain this in detail in a while.
First to finish the immediate business of weather inference for the next day or two. As mentioned in our yesterday’s post the temperatures have started to trend lower today morning across the state compared to the last few days and similar trend is expected to continue until the weekend with cooler nights on the cards due to the weakening Easterlies. Today we could see temperatures drop a notch lower with models indicating isolated places in North Tamil Nadu dropping by nearly 3 / 4 degrees compared to normal.
Now for the serious business of weather outlook on a slightly longer time frame. Numerical models are indicating a possible weak disturbance to evolve in Southeast Bay which could provide some impetus to the Easterlies early next week. Consequent to this we are likely to see rains return over Coastal Tamil Nadu around 9th / 10th of January just before the Pongal festivities pick up.
In this context we would like to alert our farming brethren especially those who are along the coastal belt to plan for harvest of their paddy crops in the next few days if they are ready. Our reasoning for this early broad based alert is due to the following.
- While widespread sustained rainfall activity looks less likely, models indicate a possible convergence triggered rainfall activity around 9th / 10th over a narrow band of Coastal TN. This event is likely to be similar to the Nov. 2nd 2017 event that dumped nearly 25 cms rains in a few hours over parts of Chennai though considering its January the rainfall potential could be far lower unlike peak monsoon period.
- Around 48 hours or so before the event we can possibly get a very good fix of the impact location but unfortunately this could be too short a notice for farmers to mobilize resources and undertake harvesting activity
- At this stage of the year the Mature Paddy Crops will mostly be Top Heavy on account of the ripening of paddy seeds due to which any heavy rainfall activity even for a couple of hours could make the entire crop unfit for harvest once the seeds touch the ground and get wet & soggy.
Do share word among all those farming friends you know off so they are better prepared.