Chennai, surrounding districts continue to be on red alert

The India Meteorological Department has maintained the red alert issued in Chennai and its surrounding districts for November 18 as the city is likely to receive extremely heavy rain. Rain will continue over Tamil Nadu till November 21.

The low-pressure area over south-east and south-west Bay of Bengal, with the associated cyclonic circulation, is likely to move westwards and reach west-central and adjoining south-west Bay of Bengal off the south Andhra Pradesh-north Tamil Nadu coast by November 18. This will be the major trigger for widespread rain over the State, especially in Chennai.

On November 18, Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Ranipet may experience heavy to very heavy rain. One or two places in these districts are likely to get intense rain of 20.4 cm. Nearly 10 other districts are likely to get heavy or very heavy rain. The heavy rain may continue in some districts on Novermber 19 and 20.

In the past 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m., Thirumoorthy in Tiruppur district recorded the day’s heaviest rainfall of 13 cm. Many other weather stations, too, recorded rain of varied intensity. Many weather stations and rain gauges started recording rain during the day as the system is approaching closer to the Tamil Nadu coast. Among them were Thuvakudi in Tiruchi (4 cm); Thanjavur and Udhagamandalam recorded 3 cm; Kodaikanal (2 cm); and Chennai, Tiruchi, Cuddalore, Yercaud, Madurai and Coimbatore (1 cm each) till 5.30 p.m.

IMD officials said the low-pressure area over the Arabian Sea too persists.

S. Balachandran, Deputy Director-General of Meteorology, said the intensity of rainfall might gradually increase from November 17 night and last till November 19 morning and begin to dip thereafter.

The northeast monsoon this year has brought good rainfall to the State that has so far received 45 cm, 54% more than its average of 29 cm. Chennai, too, has recorded 65% excess rainfall. It has received 82 cm, against its usual share of 50 cm, since October 1.

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