Better equipment could have helped: weather bloggers

Many felt the city was caught off-guard with no indication of such very heavy spells of rain, resulting in flooding everywhere. Weather bloggers, who have been continuously monitoring the changes, said while the northeast monsoon could spring a surprise with heavy rain over a short period like a localised phenomena, it was still possible to have at least better indications if the city had better equipment.

K Srikanth, a weather blogger, said weather models do not always pick up events like what was witnessed on Sunday. “But there is a possibility to have some indications of such events at least a little in advance if we have a mesoscale weather model which could predict in smaller detail. Even then, it will be difficult to predict the exact quantum of rainfall which could be expected,” he said. He noted that 2021 itself had more rainfall and the soil saturation was already high in the city.

Sai Prasath Janardhanan, another weather blogger, said: “There is a chance of knowing about such events at least 4-6 hours in advance if we had high performing radars.”

But S. Balachandran, the Deputy Director-General of Meteorology, said from Sunday morning the radars had started functioning. “Weather systems vary in sizes and their lifetime too changes. This event where heavy short spells occurring in a small area are very difficult to predict much in advance,” he said.

“When we talk of weather systems and rain, we have to take into consideration the spatial temporal variability. They come in different sizes and their lifetime also varies from hours to days. We could not pick up any signature from our satellite and radars,”he added.

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