The city has so far witnessed its wettest monsoon in the past five years. While this is great news for the metropolis, which faces a 15 per cent water cut because of a deficient monsoon last year, it has also helped the spread of monsoon-related illnesses.
According to the Indian Meterological Department (IMD), Mumbai received 1,836 mm of rain between June 1 and July 26, crossing the 50 per cent mark of the annual seasonal rainfall. The catchment areas in Thane, which cradles most of the lakes supplying drinking water to Mumbai, received 1,226 mm of rain 26 compared to 1,057 mm last year.
The rainfall recorded for the same period in 2006 was 1,380 mm. During 2005, when the city faced its worst floods on July 26, the rainfall recorded for the same period was 1,612 mm.
“The city has already received an excess of about 700 mm compared to the average rainfall in this period. At this rate, Mumbai will cross the normal average (2,294 mm) for the four monsoon months in the first week of August itself,” said R.V. Sharma, deputy director-general, western region, IMD. Sharma said a combination of normal features, such as low-pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal and the western coast and strong wind pressure areas over the west coast, was responsible for the rainfall.
In Maharashtra, Ratnagiri district has received the highest rainfall (2,233 mm) so far. “It’s part of the natural occurrence of monsoons where one year it will rain well in Mumbai, and it could be Ratnagiri the next year,” said A.B. Majumdar, of IMD Pune.
This year, between June 1 and July 26, Colaba received 1,876.7 mm, while Santacruz recorded 1,794.4 mm.
The highest average rainfall, about 3,000 mm, was in 2005.