Drenched out: Unexpected torrential rain reminds Chennai of previous downpours in 2021


Tamil Nadu has had a very wet year and on the last day of 2021, the situation was no different as parts of Chennai and surrounding districts experienced very heavy rainfall, throwing life out of gear.

The sudden heavy rains on Thursday left three people dead and several others stranded on arterial roads as a result of traffic congestion. After the downpour started to intensify, the India Meteorological Department issued a red alert warning to Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, and Chengalpattu districts.

Take a look at the times when the city and the state experienced very heavy showers.

December floods

Parts of Chennai witnessed heavy rains on Thursday, 30 December.

Popular weather blogger Pradeep John said that the rainfall was unprecedented with many areas like Nungambakkam, Mambalam and MRC Nagar receiving over 100 mm in a short span of time.

The unprecedented rainfall led to mishaps and electrocution incidents that left three people dead and caused damages to buildings.

The water-logging led to traffic congestion, causing hardship for commuters who were unprepared for severe rainfall. Chennai metro rail extended services by one hour on Thursday to help stranded commuters. The last metro left by 12 am.

Four subways in the city were also shut in view of the heavy rains.

A red alert has been issued for four districts including Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, and Chinglepet.

S Balachandran, Deputy Director-General, IMD, was quoted as saying, “The interaction of easterly winds at lower levels and westerly winds at upper level has brought rain to the city. The rains in the city will continue till 3 January."

November rains

November 2021 was the wettest for Chennai since 2015. The observatory in Nungambakkam recorded 1044.3 mm of rainfall in November 2021 — just 4.5 mm short of the 1049 mm rainfall recorded in November 2015 — that caused unprecedented floods and inundated Chennai.

The intensity of the rains had paralysed the capital city, its adjoining districts of Chengalpattu, Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram and other districts. According to reports, as many as 15,016 people had been evacuated from low lying areas and accommodated in relief camps. Moreover, crops spread over 50,000 hectares in Tamil Nadu’s delta districts were damaged.

The observatories at Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded 23 and 22 days of rainfal of 2.5 mm and above in November, double the average number of rainy days of 11.1 for the month considered the city's wettest.

Wet beginnings

The southern metropolis welcomed 2021 with heavy rains too. The city witnessed highest rains in the month of January in 100 years, not just surprising the citizens but also causing severe inconvenience to them.

Several major roads were full of water forcing motorists to wade through the water and causing traffic jams across the city.

On 5 January, the city had recorded 114.60 mm of rainfall in just seven-and-a-half hours between 8.30 am and 4 pm.
Independent weather blogger Pradeep John had said that the January rainfall was the highest recorded in the month of January in a century after 1915.

With inputs from agencies

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Drenched out: Unexpected torrential rain reminds Chennai of previous downpours in 2021
Drenched out: Unexpected torrential rain reminds Chennai of previous downpours in 2021
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