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India: Rain in Flood-Weary Chennai to Reach Mumbai

While the threat for flooding will persist across southern India, rain will spread northward up the west coast to end the nearly month-long dry spell in Mumbai this weekend.

A needed stretch of dry weather will not come to flood-weary southern India and Sri Lanka this weekend. Instead, moisture from yet another tropical low will surge in and lead to additional showers and thunderstorms.

Much of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, as well as Sri Lanka will receive less than 50 mm (2 inches) of rain through Monday. Localized amounts up to 100 mm (4 inches) are possible, which could cause flash flooding.

The risk for renewed flooding issues will be greatest where the ground is saturated and streams are running high in the wake of recent heavy rain.

Chennai recorded nearly 726 mm (28.56 inches) of rain so far this month though Thursday. That is more than double the normal for the month. A total of 212 mm (8.35 inches) fell alone on Nov. 15.

In Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society reports that more than 138,000 people have been impacted by recent floods, landslides and heavy rain.

The tropical low responsible for the latest heavy rain in southern India and Sri Lanka is now over the Arabian Sea, but it is not expected to strengthen into a depression or cyclone this weekend.

Moisture from the low, however, will be drawn northward and cause showers and thunderstorms to spread along the coast of Maharashtra and far southern Gujarat to start the weekend. Additional unsettled weather will follow into early next week.

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The showers and thunderstorms will bring an end to the hot, dry stretch of weather that has dominated Mumbai this month. The city has not recorded measurable rain since Oct. 25.

While isolated flash flooding resulting from the dried out ground having trouble absorbing any localized downpour cannot be ruled out, the rain into early next week will be welcome around Mumbai after the monsoon season ended with a rainfall shortage.

Rainfall in Mumbai during November is hit-or-miss, falling some years while remaining absent other years as the dry season takes hold.