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Carry an umbrella while pandal-hopping in Kolkata

kolkata Updated: Oct 14, 2015 14:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

People carry a Goddess Durga idol towards a puja pandal in Kolkata. (PTI photo)

The sudden spell of shower on Tuesday left a cloud of uncertainty in everybody’s mind. The question that all are asking is: Will it rain during the Pujas or will it be all sun and fun?

The answer isn’t good, really. Top Indian Meteorological Department officials in Pune told HT that there could be some rain during the Pujas, although there is no chance of a washout.

“This is an El Nino year. Any activity over the Pacific Ocean region is affecting weather patterns in the Bay of Bengal region. Because of this, the monsoon has stopped withdrawing and has got stuck over Jharkhand. It hasn’t withdrawn an inch over the past 10 days. Right now, we have a cyclonic circulation over Bay of Bengal,” B Mukhopadhyay, senior climate scientist who heads the Indian Meteorological Department in Pune, said.

It is this cyclonic circulation which is triggering rain over Kolkata. Local Met officials said there will be more rain over the next two days in the city. Sikkim and other North-Eastern states are also experiencing heavy rain.

Mukhopadhyay and his team apprehend that monsoon might linger till the third week of October, triggering rain on some days during the Pujas. “It may take another week or so for the monsoon to withdraw. In that case, the Pujas would clash with monsoon and there could be rain on some days,” Mukhopadhyay said.

Although the Pujas will be more or less dry, a cyclone could develop over Bay of Bengal out of the tail of a typhoon in Pacific, after the four-day festival. It is, however, too early to predict where it would hit and when. Cyclone Phailin had developed in a similar manner in 2013.

“A typhoon has developed over the Pacific Ocean. Its tail, if it manages to reach the Bay of Bengal after crossing South China Sea, could develop into a cyclone. In 2013, very severe cyclonic storm Phailin had formed in a similar way from the tail of a cyclonic circulation over South China Sea,” Mukhopadhyay said.

While Mukhopadhyay predicted rain during Puja days, weather experts in Delhi sounded a little optimistic. They claimed that once the present cyclonic circulation fades, monsoon will withdraw.

“It would take another 2-3 days for the weather system over Bay of Bengal to fade. We expect monsoon to start withdrawing from October 16. It would bid adieu to Kolkata and south Bengal by October 18,” said BP Yadav, who heads the National Weather Forecasting Centre at IMD Delhi.

But scientists in both Pune and Delhi are more concerned about something else. They have spotted an ominous sign over the Pacific Ocean which could well turn into a nightmare for many after the Pujas.