File photo: Rain clouds hover over Kochi, Kerala

(Jipson Sikhera/TOI, BCCL, Kochi)

Monday, September 5: This year, the rains appear to be in all preparedness to dampen the festive spirits as we enter the last leg of the monsoon season. After drenching Maharashtra and Karnataka during the Ganesh Chaturthi last week, the seasonal rains have shifted focus to Kerala as the state’s favourite Onam festival approaches.

On Monday, a cyclonic circulation brews over the Comorin Sea — present at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Moreover, a north-south trough (an extended low-pressure area) runs from North Karnataka to a cyclonic circulation over the Comorin area.

Under the influence of these systems, Kerala is in for fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated heavy thundershowers for the next five days. Particularly from September 6-9, the state may witness isolated very heavy rains of over 115 mm per day, with the coasts likely to experience gusty winds reaching up to 55 kmph.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also forecast extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places of Kerala and Mahe on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The coastal state remains under a red warning (meaning ‘take action’) for September 6, followed by an orange alert (meaning ‘be prepared’) on September 7-8. A yellow watch (meaning to ‘be updated)’ has also been issued for September 5 and 9. However, all districts — including the capital city Thiruvananthapuram — will only be on a yellow watch during this five-day forecast period.

If fact, even last week, Kerala did not get a respite from incessant rains and flash floods. And just yesterday, on Sunday evening, a flash flood occurred in the Mankayam waterfalls in Pelode, Thiruvananthapuram. As per reports, eight out of ten tourists had to be rescued from the turbulent waters. However, a 6-year-old girl died, and her mother continues to be reportedly missing.

Furthermore, since the beginning of the monsoon, Kerala recorded a total of 1568 mm of rainfall, which is 13% less than its expected share of 1796 mm rains. The IMD, however, has predicted that the state will receive excess rains during September, especially during the next two weeks.

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