It may still be too soon to assume the sunny mornings in the city are an indication that the monsoon is over. With rain still continuing in the northern part of the country, the season is far from over for Mumbai.
Officials in the India Meteorological Department said the withdrawal of the monsoon would be declared only if there were five clear and hot days without rain over a larger area.
That should start within a week from the western parts of Rajasthan such as Jaislamer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner and then move to Jammu&Kashmir, Delhi, Haryana, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, before reaching Maharashtra.
This year, the city recorded a 50-year high in rainfall figures. Since June 1, it has rained 3167.7mm in Colaba, while Santacruz has received 3326.5mm. In fact, on August 17, Mumbai crossed the average annual seasonal rainfall of 2, 294mm that stretched over four months. For the last 24 hours, there has been no rainfall recorded in the city. Weathermen have predicted one or two spells of rain or thundershowers in some parts of the city with a maximum temperature of 32 degree Celsius.
“At present, there is about 60 to 70 per cent humidity in the air. This means the accompanying moisture could bring some spells of rain,” said R. V. Sharma, deputy director general, western region, IMD. “Only when the level of humidity has come down to about 20 to 30 per cent, the moisture will reduce and so will the formation of clouds. Only then will we declare that the monsoon is withdrawing,” he added.
This year’s above-average rain is not due to an unusual in the monsoon pattern. It’s been a good combination of normal monsoon features that was actually responsible for the city’s record rainfall – low-pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal, a trough off the west coast and strong wind pressure areas over the west coast of the Arabian Sea.
Officials said monsoon withdrawal in Maharashtra would start in the second week of October. “As against the onset of monsoon that starts in the western part of India, the withdrawal will start from the north,” Sharma said.