Vagaries of weather too may sway election campaign in COVID season

Vagaries of weather too may sway election campaign in COVID season
Photo: PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is set to hold an unusual local election as it has been scheduled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as campaigning is on with stringent protocols in view of the health hazard, the state is on the cusp of a seasonal change. Rain interspersed with daytime heat has been bothering the candidates and supporters crisscrossing parts of villages and towns as November draws to a close. Come night, the inklings of the December chill are already being felt.

The electioneers apart from complying with COVID safety norms like wearing masks, maintaining social distance and washing hands frequently during campaign, need to carry an umbrella.

In the coming two weeks of the campaign, the campaigners have to be wary of likely swings in atmospheric conditions just as they expect electoral undercurrents that may wash away or shore up their prospects.

Rains may come and go

Even though November is advancing, the October rains are still continuing in the state. Met experts say the rains are likely to decrease in the next three days, but from next week Kerala and Tamil Nadu may get moderate to heavy rainfall. Some districts in Kerala will receive moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by thunder, lightning and winds. However, the northern districts may get only partial rains.

The low pressure formed in Andaman coast along the Bay of Bengal will gain strength by Wednesday resulting in heavy rains in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, according to the Met department.

Rainfall is likely to decrease in Kerala for two days when the existing low-pressure area over the Arabian Sea moves towards the north and a high-pressure system forms. Even then the state may get isolated rains.

Varying temperature

With skies likely to get clear there will be a change in temperature level as well. On Friday the temperature at the Kochi airport was 35 degree Celsius, while the early morning temperature in Punalur, down south, was 20 degree Celsius.

Met experts say the fluctuation in temperature indicates the onset of the winter season.

Lower rains in October-November

This October-November period the state recorded a big drop in rainfall compared to the usual pattern. In place of the average 42 cm rainfall, the state received only 30 cm rainfall. Only Kasargod district recorded high rainfall: 14% more than the average.

Average decrease in rainfall in other districts; Thiruvananthapuram (-32 percent), Kollam (-34), Pathanamthitta (-28) Kottayam (-23), Idukki (-16), Ernakulam (-20), Thrissur (-38), Malappuram (-60), Palakkad (-44), Kozhikode (-17), Wayanad (-29) and Kannur (-10)

Experts say if summer rains also fall short after the poor October-November rains, the state could head for a drought-like situation in March and April. Clearly, it's time to conserve water.