Thunderstorms visit city, rain to intensify over weekend

Published on Sep 08, 2022 12:28 AM IST

According to officials and experts, isolated moderate to heavy showers are likely in Mumbai till September 10, after which the intensity of rain will increase and showers will become more widespread

Mumbai, India - September 07, 2022: Thundering and lightning in the sky over the iconic CSMT building during heavy rain, in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, September 07, 2022. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Mumbai, India - September 07, 2022: Thundering and lightning in the sky over the iconic CSMT building during heavy rain, in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, September 07, 2022. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)

Mumbai: Thunderstorms and lighting over the city on Tuesday evening marked the beginning of this monsoon’s final wet spell in the region. Cloudy weather, high wind speeds and moderate showers were experienced across the larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), with most rain gauges receiving between 5-20mm of rainfall between 5pm and 6pm, soon after it began to rain.

According to officials and experts, isolated moderate to heavy showers are likely in Mumbai till September 10, after which the intensity of rain will increase and showers will become more widespread. A lull in rainfall is expected after September 13.

Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology & climate change) at private forecaster Skymet Weather explained, “These are not typical monsoon showers, but thunderstorms caused by an increase in convective activity over the last couple of days. The Konkan coast rarely sees lighting, but due to climate change, as temperatures rise and rainfall becomes more sporadic, the combination of heat and humidity will create more favourable conditions for thunderstorms like this.”

Palawat and other experts pointed out that Mumbai is likely to see repeated thunderstorms until September 10, after which typical monsoon showers will resume for a couple of days. “There is a low-pressure system forming over the Bay of Bengal. Once the system has matured on Thursday, it will strengthen a prevailing monsoon trough that is running from Vidarbha to interior Tamil Nadu. Westerly winds will become strong and normal monsoon showers will intensify over the weekend,” said a meteorologist with the India Meteorological Department’s regional forecasting centre in Mumbai.

Mumbai is currently placed under a green category weather alert on Thursday, indicating a high chance of light to moderate showers, and a yellow category weather alert from Friday to Sunday, indicating heavy rainfall at isolated places. Neighbouring districts of Raigad, Thane and Palghar -- which also saw heavy thunder and lightning on Wednesday evening -- are likely to see thunderstorms accompanied by lightning and gusty winds over the next two days, per official forecasts.

As of 8:30am Wednesday, Mumbai’s base weather station in Santacruz had received a total seasonal rainfall of 2200.2mm, as against the four-month normal of 2318.8mm. The city is likely to exceed the normal rainfall over the next week.

Traffic slows down in South Mumbai

Meanwhile, motorists had a difficult time commuting on the roads due to heavy rain, especially in South Mumbai. Traffic police said after the sudden downpour in the afternoon, traffic all over the city was reported to be moving slow.

“Since the last two days of Ganesha festival, traffic was reported to be slow. However, no traffic jams were reported in South Mumbai during the day,” said Pradnya Jedage, deputy commissioner of police, Traffic, South Mumbai.

According to the traffic police, traffic was reported to be moving at a snail’s pace through South Mumbai and the Western suburbs. “Traffic was slow at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj terminus near Regal cinema and entire stretch from Worli to Churchgate and from Bandra to Malad on the Western Express Highway,” said a traffic police officer.

“What made it worse was the sudden downpour late in the afternoon due to which traffic jams were reported in many parts of the city,” added the officer.

“We were stuck at Worli for more than 40 minutes around noon on Wednesday. Traffic was at a complete standstill after which it was moving at a snail’s pace. I was travelling towards Malabar Hill when I got stuck and was delayed for a meeting. This happened around 11:30 am which is not even the peak hours,” said Ami Shah, 38, a Bandra resident who was travelling to the South from the Western suburbs.

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