Chennai experienced hottest May this year

Chennai experienced one of the hottest May months in recent times. “After May 2008, this year’s peak summer season (kathri) was the warmest,” said Dr Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC).

The average maximum temperatures at Nungambakkam was higher by 1.5 degrees at 38.6 degree Celsius, while in Meenambakkam, it was 2 degrees more at 40.1 degree Celsius.

While mercury levels touched the highest temperature of 42.5 degree Celsius in Nungambakkam on May 28, it peaked to 43.4 degree Celsius at Meenambakkam on May 19.

It was a warmer May this year, as the sea breeze played havoc with its onset timings, said Dr Raj, adding that the late onset and early withdrawal of sea breeze apart from a few days of negligible gentle winds made things uncomfortable for people in the city this year.

He said the sea breeze onset was not clear for about two days in Nungambakkam and for nearly eight days in Meenambakkam during the last 15 days of May.

“The temperature in the entire second half of May was above normal. It was mainly due to change in currents in the Arabian Sea that led to strong winds from the western direction, affecting the onset of sea breeze that flows from the eastern side,” he added.

Further, the lack of summer rains also affected the common man, as good thunderstorms would have helped in bringing down the temperature faster. “At times, mercury levels will drop by even 17 degrees when there are squall winds,” Dr Raj said.

According to him, the hot weather conditions are expected to continue in the city for a few more days.

“The onset of southwest monsoon has been delayed and so we have to wait for rains to get some respite from heat,” he added.

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