Surplus rain likely amid northeast monsoon

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The northeast monsoon season, which sets in during the Malayalam month of Thulam, brings 30 per cent of the total rain that Kerala gets in a year.
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Pathanamthitta: The Met department predicts more rainfall than in the earlier year during the northeast monsoon season which is set to commence soon. The season, locally known as thulavarsham, normally starts as October arrives, and stretches on to December 31. In a forecast released on Saturday morning, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said Kerala might get 89 per cent less than the long-time average or 111 per cent higher than the previous period. It asserts that the possibility is for the higher side.

The northeast monsoon or retreating monsoon normally brings showers mainly in five areas – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, the Andhra coast, Rayalaseema and south Karnataka. The season, which sets in during the Malayalam month of Thulam, brings 30 per cent of the total rain that Kerala gets in a year. In Tamil Nadu, the season's contribution is up to 48 per cent.

The IMD started predicting about thulavarsham using the statistical method since 1998. A half-a-century average from 1951 to 2000 suggests the southern region as a whole gets 43.8 cm rain during the retreating monsoon.

Experts say incessant rain is a low possibility on account of the the El Nino phenomenon linked to temperature in the Pacific. The chances of this unusual weather pattern, which is marked by unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, is 70 per cent. An intensified El Nino can cause a shortfall in rain in India.

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