Poonam Zaveri was supposed to take a day trip to Malshej Ghat next weekend to enjoy the rains. But, on Sunday morning, she figured that the rains were here and decided to make the most of it and set out for Malshej.
“We wanted to be in Malshej for the first showers. The heavy downpour on Saturday made us realise that we might have to advance our trip,” said the Lokhandwala resident.
On Sunday morning, monsoon hit the city five days earlier than usual and moved further to Dahanu, Gulbarga, Nashik, Konkan, central Maharashtra and parts of Marathwada. The monsoon hit the state on June 3 in parts of South Konkan such as Vengurla and Sindhudurg, two days ahead of schedule.
“Unlike pre-monsoon showers, monsoon showers cover a large area. For instance, the onset of monsoon is announced when seven of the ten rain stations record rainfall. If only two rain stations report rain, they are still pre-monsoon showers,” said RV Sharma, deputy director general, western region, India Meteorological Department.
Sharma added that the newly-installed Doppler Radar was giving updates every ten minutes, helping the weather department to forecast better.
Last week, the city witnessed heavy pre-monsoon showers accompanied by lightning because of high temperature and rising humidity level.
The pre-monsoon shower in the city was especially heavy on the afternoon of June 4 when the monsoon touched Alibaug. Even though the weather department had predicted the monsoon to reach the city in 24 to 48 hours, the continuous monsoon currents arising from Alibaug resulted in an onset of the season in Mumbai, Greater Mumbai and Thane in less than 24 hours.
Flight movements in and out of the Mumbai airport was largely on schedule barring an occasional delay of 15-20 minutes.
Last year, the monsoon arrived in the city on June 11. While the seasonal average rainfall from June 1 to September 30 is 2,294mm, the city met that average rainfall figure of 2355.5mm on August 17 last year.