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Heavy Rains Tonight?

Heavy Rains Tonight?

I told Palayam anna about the prediction for very heavy rains tonight in Chennai. This morning the only necessary but not sufficient conditions prevailed for rains. After the night long rains, the rains didn’t pick up. It hasn’t rained till the time of writing 5.15 p.m. In the morning, the wind was a brisk kun vadai but not a gusty one from northwest. The wind direction was right for rains, but it was not gusting. The current was a swift vanni flowing from the north. The sea was calm in the absence of any opposing wind.

Fishermen had set out to sea, but because all irrigation tanks and dams had been opened up the mid-sea vanni current was terribly swift with all that freshwater being pushed south.

I spoke to him this at around 5 p.m. to ask him about the likelihood of “very heavy rains” tonight. We had just turned an offline event we had organised this evening on Chennai floods to an online one. But he said his reading has not changed. Forget gusty winds, the wind was not even blowing from the northwest — a necessary condition for heavy rains or storms. It was a steady nedun vadai. The sea was calm. “Not the kind of indicators that I’d associate with heavy rains. All boats will go to sea tomorrow. Conditions are good. Perhaps the weather men are speaking for some other part of Chennai. It may rain, but I don’t expect heavy rains. The winds don’t foretell heavy rains. Anyway, let’s wait and see.”

PS> Please rely on IMD’s official reports for weather forecast. Do not use this to plan your evening or take safety precautions. For that go only by IMD’s official forecast. This is a citizen science initiative meant to introduce you to how fishers make sense of the seas. Like institutional weather scientists, fishers too get their readings wrong. As Palayam explains “How can I predict how nature will behave? I read the signs and try to make sense. That’s all.”

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