In several parts of India, mango trees have started bearing flowers in abundance, but growers are fearing there stormy weather and heavy rainfall could be underway. The last time there was such flowering in Kerala was in 2018, when the state witnessed its worst floods in a century. “Our elders fear that mango flowering brings unpredictable rainfall,” Rajesh Krishnan, chief executive, Thirunelly Agri Producer Co, Wayanad, Kerala, said. “Back then, we laughed at our elders. But they were eventually proven right.”
According to traditional knowledge, plants and trees change their behaviour when they “sense an upcoming flood or drought”, Krishnan told Down To Earth. The link to storms and rainfall could be through warming of the land and atmosphere, which is needed for both flowering and convection, a process that generates storms.
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