Mumbai receives half of August’s average rain in less than 4 days, downpour likely to continue
Against the monthly average rainfall of 585.2 mm, the Santacruz weather observatory, representative of Mumbai, recorded 293 mm rain from August 1 to August 4 noon.Updated: Aug 04, 2020 14:00 IST
With 26 days to go till the end of the month, Mumbai has already received 50 percent of its August average rainfall owing to incessant downpour over the past 16 hours. Heavy rain led to the overflow of Dahisar river in the northwestern suburbs and inundated parts of the city’s national park.
Against the monthly average rainfall of 585.2 mm, the Santacruz weather observatory, representative of Mumbai, recorded 293 mm rain from August 1 to August 4 noon. Of this, 271 mm was recorded between 8.30 pm Monday and 12.30 pm Tuesday. Intense thundershowers and high-speed winds witnessed overnight died down on early Tuesday morning with light to moderate rain. The suburbs recorded 20.2 mm rain between 8.30 am and 12.30 pm while south Mumbai recorded 9.8 mm.
The weather bureau has predicted extremely heavy rain for the rest of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday morning announced the formation of a low-pressure system over north Bay of Bengal (BoB).
“As per the accurate forecast, the Konkan coast, including Mumbai, has witnessed intense showers due to prevailing weather synoptic factors stemming from the low-pressure system in the BoB. This trend is likely to continue, and necessary warnings were issued to respective government departments well in advance,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general, IMD.
Independent meteorologists said an offshore trough and a vortex system (localised circulation) were activated on Monday night paving the way for extremely heavy rain activity.
“These rains were expected and predicted much earlier by the IMD as well as weather bloggers. With the confirmation of the low-pressure formation, north Konkan including Mumbai will continue to see very heavy rains for the next 48 hours. This low pressure will keep the offshore trough very active along with a cyclonic system in the north Arabian Sea,” said professor Sridhar Balasubramanian, department of mechanical engineering and IDP Climate Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
He added that Palghar, Mumbai, Thane, Raigad and Ratnagiri should continue to remain on high alert for the next 48 hours.
Water stock across seven lakes was 35 percent of the required total even after intense rainfall. It was 92 percent last year by this time. “Catchment areas (lakes supply water to the city will also start getting rains by Tuesday afternoon or evening. An increase in lake levels is expected by Aug 7,” said Balasubramanian.
Areas within and along the periphery of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP), Borivli witnessed waterlogging after Dahisar river overflowed on Tuesday morning. The SGNP office and six structures of staff quarters were flooded. “All structures had 1.5-foot high water. Our staff is working on its removal. However, more flooding was witnessed along Shanti Van bridge at SGNP’s periphery, which has put traffic movement to a standstill,” said Vijay Barabde, range forest officer, SGNP.
Sunil Limaye, additional principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife-west) said, “Luckily no animals have been injured in the wild or the captive animal rescue centres and there have been minimal tree fall cases. Fortunately, an accurate forecast by the weather bureau helped us identify the risk we were facing. On Monday itself, all major files, electronics and other valuables were kept at a height of 5 foot and above to ensure there is no damage to them.” Last year water had entered the offices, damaging important documents and computer databases.
Meanwhile, Tulsi lake had overflowed on July 28 through its southern course towards Vihar and then Powai Lakes. However, on Tuesday morning, lake levels reached the brim even towards the northern end of the constructed dam. “We are concerned about flooding due to excess rainwater overflows from this end of the lake, which will directly affect the residential quarters and the SGNP office area. Despite repeated reminders last year for a structural audit of the lake, it has not been carried out so far,” said Limaye.