Northeast Monsoon 2016 – Time for Drought Management?

Is Northeast Monsoon 2016 staring at an abyss?  The objective of this post is not to trigger a panic. But having observed the rainfall pattern for the last few weeks and looking at how things possibly could evolve we feel it is time for some Drought Management Action Plan to be put in place.  Tamil Nadu Government has put a fairly robust district level Disaster Management Plan for Northeast Monsoon 2016 to prevent possible flooding.  With that place firmly in place we feel it is time to start a Plan B as well, a plan for Drought Mitigation for the coming months.  With help from Nature we hope the Plan B is never needed.

In this post we have tried to identify the highly critical districts based on their dependence on Northeast Monsoon and how Northeast Monsoon 2016 has panned so far.  We have also taken into account the long term average rainfall expected for the balance of the season until December 31st to understand how critical the situation is.Weather_Update_1

The coastal districts are staring a highly critical situation evolving.  These districts get more than 55% of their annual rainfall in the 3 months of Northeast Monsoon.  With Pondy, Chennai requiring more than twice the normal rainfall for the remaining period of Northeast Monsoon 2016 these places are slowly moving towards point of no return.


Among those districts moderately dependent on Northeast Monsoon only possibly Tiruppur could call itself in reasonable safe zone with the possibility of ending the year in OK terms.  Though districts like Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur get a fair bit of rains during Southwest Monsoon thunderstorms their dependence on Northeast Monsoon is still fairly high making it critical situation in these places as well.

Things are bad even for those districts that are not as dependent on Northeast Monsoon as rest of the state with only Pudukottai reasonably safe to end the year without much damage.

This Analysis would have been complete if we could have done it with the yearly rainfall for 2016 so far, nevertheless the overall trend could be similar in terms of vulnerability & critical nature.

We would like to place our thanks to IMD Chennai for the rainfall data.