American Space Agency NASA has released a video over Chennai’s mammoth rainfall. According to NASA, Chennai has received record rainfall in past 115 years. It was in the year 1901 that Chennai saw more rainfall than what struck the city on December 1.
The animated map shows that Chennai received nearly 400 millimetres of rainfall in 48 hours from Dec1- Dec 2. The unprecedented rainfall flooded the city and took 250 lives apart from affecting tens of thousands of people and disrupting lifestyle of entire city.The data was obtained from the NASA’s Earth Observatory map using the Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission (IMERG).
Hal Pierce, a scientist on the GPM team at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, said that in some areas of southeastern coast, rainfall exceeded the 500 millimetre mark (20 inches). According to meteorologists, such heavy and unseasonal rain in India was due to super-charged northeast monsoon.
While explaining NASA scientists said that in winter, winds blow from northeast to southeast in nearly all places of the country and these winds are mostly dry. However, these winds absorb moisture from the Bay of Bengal when they blow above the sea and by the time they reach the southern coast, the winds get enough water in them to cause rain in southern regions like Chennai. Coastal eastern India receives 50 to 60 percent of its yearly rainfall during this winter monsoon. But this year, winds must have absorbed excess moisture that has caused super-monsoon disrupting lifestyle and killing many along with loss of food and fodder.