Earthquake may have spurred unusual rain, claims expert

Could the unusually heavy rain the state has received so far this summer have anything to do with changes in the Indian Ocean triggered by the recent earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia?

Dr. C.K Rajan of the School of Marine Science of the Cochin University of Science and Technology believes it has everything to do with it.

The scientist argues that the shuffling of the southern region of the Indian Ocean led to the formation of a low pressure area near Sri Lanka, which in turn led to heavy rainfall not only in Kerala, but also in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

“The moisture content in the atmosphere over the ocean increased and the water holding capacity of the already warm air rose, resulting in formation of more rain clouds,” he says, adding that the high intensity rain over Kerala will however, end in two or three days and the state will return to receiving normal summer showers shortly.

“Normally summer showers occur early morning and evening in coastal areas like Kochi, and the interior regions experience thundershowers in the evening only," he observes.

Strongly disagreeing with Dr. Rajan, senior atmospheric scientist and former director of Indian Meteorological Department, Dr. P.V Joseph, says the current heavy rainfall has nothing to do with the earthquake.

“The widespread rainfall in the state is a normal phenomenon, not related to the earthquake. It is called pre-monsoon rainfall peak (PMRP) and is usually seen 30 to 40 days ahead of the onset of the monsoon,” he says.

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