Chennai may set a new record for November rainfall

IMD forecasts heavy to very heavy rain on November 28; water release stepped up from Chembarambakkam.

Chennai may be on the verge of recording its wettest November in 100 years, and may set a new record.

With the city receiving 10 cm rain on November 27 morning, Chennai’s rainfall for the month stood at 98 cm. According to India Meteorological Department’s data, November 1918 holds the all-time record with 108.8 cm of rain.

The department has forecast that north coastal districts and Puducherry may receive heavy to very heavy rainfall on November 28. With three more days left in November and more rain predicted, 2015 November’s record rainfall of 105 cm may be broken.

On an average, Chennai receives 40 cm rain in November.

On November 26 night, it was the turn of north coastal districts to be pounded by heavy rain. With many areas in Kancheepuram district recording more than 10 cm rain on November 27 morning, the water release from Chembarambakkam reservoir was stepped up to 3,000 cusecs.

Intense rains lashed several parts of the coastal belt around Chennai.

Vehicles move slowly on the waterlogged G.S.T. Road near Guduvancheri on November 27, 2021.
| Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ


Avadi bore the brunt with 20 cm rain till November 27 morning. Nearly 15 places, including Mahabalipuram (18 cm) and Parangipettai in Cuddalore district (15 cm), recorded more than 10 cm rain.

Other rain gauges in Chennai that reported heavy rain were Ambattur (12 cm), Perambur and Anna University (10 cm) and Meenambakkam (9 cm).

Red alert

The IMD has issued red alert for north coastal districts on November 28. Heavy rains are possible over nine districts, including Salem, Ariyalur and the Nilgiris, under the influence of the cyclonic circulation over Comorin area and Sri Lanka coast.

S. Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said the slow-moving system may impact north coastal belt till November 28, and rain may decrease from November 29 as it is likely to move northwestwards.


Rain had slowed down after November 27 morning and several areas that were battered by overnight downpour hardly received one or two cm till 7.30 p.m.. “Such long breaks in rainfall during the day is possible during monsoon. The influence of diurnal variations may be more over such weak weather systems. Rain may continue between late night and early morning hours, which is typical of northeast monsoon,” he said.

The State has received 60 cm rain, which is 74% excess than its seasonal average till November 27. What was special about this monsoon is a bulk of the rain was triggered by less intense weather systems such as low-pressure area or upper air circulation, he said.

In his social media post, weather blogger Pradeep John said it was a rare year when November rainfall crossed 100 cm, and this was the third time since 1918. It was the fourth time for any month of the year. In October 2005, Chennai had recorded 107.8 cm.

“We have recorded such intense rains within a short span after 2015,” he added.

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