Cyclone Ockhi effect: Mumbai gets highest 24-hour December rain in a decade

Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai
Dec 05, 2017 09:48 AM IST

The weather bureau has issued a heavy rainfall warning for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts for Tuesday

The city recorded its highest 24-hour December rain in a decade after unseasonal showers lashed Mumbai on Monday, as a result of Cyclone Ockhi in the Arabian Sea.

Heavy traffic on Mumbai’s Western Express Highway because of rain on Tuesday morning.(Satyabrata Tripathy /HT)
Heavy traffic on Mumbai’s Western Express Highway because of rain on Tuesday morning.(Satyabrata Tripathy /HT)

The city recorded rainfall in December for the first time since 2014.

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Between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, the Santacruz weather station, representative of Mumbai as a whole and suburbs, recorded 7mm rain, while Colaba, representative of south Mumbai, recorded 11.4mm.

While 1.5mm rain was recorded on December 13, 2014, traces of rain were recorded on December 20, 2009 and December 21, 2008. The all-time high rainfall for December was recorded on December 12, 1967 was 31.4mm.

The weather bureau has for Tuesday issued a heavy rainfall warning for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts in north Konkan, Nandurbar, Dhule, Nasik and Jalgaon districts in north Madhya Maharashtra.

Mumbai witnessed a cloudy sky from Monday afternoon onwards. Light drizzles were reported in different parts of the city in the evening.

Under the weather department’s classification, 15.6mm to 64.4mm of rain is considered ‘moderate’, 64.5mm to 115.5mm is ‘heavy’, 115.6mm to 204.4mm is ‘very heavy’ and more than 204.5mm is ‘extreme’.

The cyclone is expected to weaken into a deep depression over south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast, read a special weather forecast bulletin issued by the Mumbai weather department on Monday.

Cyclone Ockhi, which left behind a trail of destruction in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep Islands, is currently located over east central Arabian Sea, around 540km southwest of Mumbai and 720km south-southwest of Surat, Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday.

“The intensity of the cyclone is expected reduce from ‘severe’ to ‘deep depression’ to a ‘depression’ as it moves northeastwards from its original location (at the same latitude of Goa over the Arabian Sea). Our prediction models indicate this depression or low pressure will bring heavy rain over the north Konkan coast and rain with higher intensity over the Gujarat region,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD. “Rumours of a cyclone hitting Mumbai are absolutely incorrect and such false messages will only increase panic.”

He added that the Mumbai coastline can expect high speed winds from Monday night onwards to Wednesday morning with speeds reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph. “Strong surface winds reaching 25-35 kmph gusting to 45 kmph are likely over inland areas of north Konkan and north Madhya Maharashtra,” said Hosalikar.

Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a separate warning for the city from Monday to Thursday (December 4-7) wherein an alert was raised for people living close to the sea, specifically Shivaji Park, Dadar areas and Cadell Road, Mahim. “Owing to the warnings related to cyclone Ockhi, there will be increased wave action in these regions and water might come onto the promenade areas and onto the road. On December 6, Ambedkar Jayanti, a huge crowd is expected at Shivaji Park, Dadar. They will need to take precautions and avoid going close to the sea,” read the BMC warning issued on Monday.

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    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

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