Dec 7, 2015

Freak weather whipped up a perfect storm in Chennai

Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
by
Rukmini S and B. Aravind Kumar
,
The Hindu
2015’s El Niño on course to being the strongest ever. (Image: NASA)
2015’s El Niño on course to being the strongest ever. (Image: NASA)

The highest daily rainfall in a century. Freak weather conditions on one day. The hottest-ever Indian Ocean. The strongest-ever El Niño. The hottest year on record. The bad news is that a perfect storm of meteorological conditions combined to create Chennai’s worst-ever deluge last week, exacerbated in no small part by civic infrastructure pushed to its limit and systemic dysfunction...“One of the most confidently predicted consequences on warming land and oceans is an increase in evaporation that could provide more fuel for more intense rainstorms on land. The recent extreme rains in Chennai surely seem to fit that trend,” the U.S.-based meteorologist, Eric Holthaus, explained in an email to The Hindu.