A late onset of the monsoon in Mumbai and lack of low-pressure systems over the Arabian Sea have led to the biggest rain deficit in the city in July since 2002. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), the suburbs received 614.5mm rainfall this July, which has been the lowest since July 2002, when the city received only 102.8mm. From June 1 to July 31, the suburbs received 926.4mm rainfall, as opposed to the normal 1,358.8mm, resulting in a deficit of 31%.
The IMD considers the rainfall in the suburbs as a benchmark for the entire city. In the island city the deficit was higher at 57%, as it received only 569.6mm rain since June 1, as opposed to the normal 1,290.3mm.
IMD officials said the absence of strong monsoon systems over the Arabian Sea was the reason behind poor rainfall this year. The rainfall recorded between July 18 and July 25 was particularly weak, showing a deficit of 75% in south Mumbai and 40% in the suburbs.
"The southwest monsoon winds create several low-pressure systems over the Arabian Sea, causing rain in Mumbai and other cities along the western coast. This year, such systems were consistently weak," said D S Pai, director, long-range forecasting division, IMD, Pune. "Our assessment shows the city is likely to witness occasional heavy showers next week."
According to the forecast issued on Tuesday, the city is unlikely to witness heavy rains over the next two days. "A temporary activation of monsoon systems and formation of a few clouds might have caused the showers on Tuesday. But we are not expecting heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours," said VK Rajeev, director, IMD, western region. On Tuesday, the city received 11.6 mm of average rain between 8.30am and 5.30pm.