Eye in the sky for freaky phenomenon | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Eye in the sky for freaky phenomenon

India has mounted a “meteorological vigil”, watching out for possible floods, following widespread weather faults in current Asian weather that triggered Pakistan’s catastrophic flooding.

delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2010 01:28 IST
Zia Haq

India has mounted a “meteorological vigil”, watching out for possible floods, following widespread weather faults in current Asian weather that triggered Pakistan’s catastrophic flooding.

Weather glitches are also being blamed for the cloudburst in Kashmir’s Leh, an ongoing heat wave in Russia and July storms in China that flooded its Three Gorges Dam. Flooding may occur in parts of north India towards end-summer, according to the rain forecasts.

Asked how advance a prediction could be made of a flooding disaster, such as the one in Pakistan, Met chief Ajit Tyagi told HT: “The type of floods in Pakistan occurs once in 80 years. We will be able to predict them not more than 15 days in advance.”

“We expect more rainfall towards September-end and October because of ‘La Nina’ weather events. The government has been informed about this,” Tyagi said.

Indian meteorologists are studying what triggered Pakistan’s torrential rains, killing an estimated 1,500 people and flooding 20 per cent of its landmass, resulting in a humanitarian crisis. They are closely monitoring developing weather patterns, alarmed over the deluge in the neighbouring country.

“Large-scale weather anomalies” have also resulted in an unequal monsoon, causing parts of north India to receive normal or excess rainfall and drought in some eastern states, such as Bihar.

“La Nina” conditions are setting in, the Met has said. Literally “the little girl” in Spanish, La Nina denotes cooling of Pacific waters that cause heavier end-season falls. This is a reverse of last year’s El Nino events, when abnormal warming of ocean surface triggered India’s drought.

Rains in food-bowl states have sharply raised crop acreages, pointing to a bumper harvest. “If rains in September come in short spells, even if heavy, no worry. But prolonged downpours, even if light, can affect harvest,” J.P.S. Dabbas of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute said.