Monsoon arrives in Maharashtra; Mumbai misses its date
The weather bureau on Thursday declared the onset of the south-west monsoon over parts of south Konkan and south-central Maharashtra, but Mumbai missed its date.
An orange alert (be prepared) has been issued for Sunday for the entire Konkan coast including Mumbai, Thane and Palghar for heavy to very heavy rain across isolated areas. A yellow alert (be updated) has been issued for Friday and Saturday for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) for the possibility of heavy rain or thunderstorms across isolated areas.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said monsoon had advanced into parts of Konkan, central Maharashtra, and Marathwada on Thursday with the onset line passing through Harnai in Ratnagiri district and Solapur district in southwest Maharashtra.
“The conditions are favourable for further advancement of monsoon in some more parts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, over the next 48 hours. A warning for heavy rainfall has been issued,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general, western region, IMD. “Rain intensity is likely to increase across the Konkan coast, central Maharashtra and Marathwada owing to a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal (around north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coast), a cyclonic circulation over south Gujarat region, and an active offshore trough extending from Karnataka to Kerala.”
According to IMD’s new onset dates released last month, normal onset for Maharashtra is around June 8. Last year, Maharashtra and Mumbai witnessed its most delayed monsoon onset in 45 years on June 20. In 2018 and 2017 it was June 8, while it was delayed in 2016 and 2015 on June 18 and 14.
Earlier this week, IMD had predicted that the onset of monsoon is expected in Mumbai around Thursday (June 11). “But the progression of monsoon towards Mumbai was marginally delayed because of a slight slower movement of the weather system over the Bay of Bengal. However, the onset over Maharashtra and expected onset over Mumbai by June 13 will still be considered as normal onset as we consider a standard deviation of plus-minus seven days for monsoon arrival,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general, IMD.
Independent meteorologists, however, said present weather conditions over southern Maharashtra were not conducive enough to declare monsoon onset. “Monsoon winds are yet to reach Konkan and south-central Maharashtra since the near-surface wind direction over these areas is from the northwest instead of required west or southwest. The wind pattern over a region needs to be seriously considered, while declaring the monsoon’s progression,” said Akshay Deoras, meteorologist and PhD researcher at the department of meteorology, University of Reading, the United Kingdom (UK). “Several models including that of the IMD continue to indicate the arrival of the monsoon in most of Konkan, including Mumbai during June 14-16.”
Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet said, “Conditions look favourable for monsoon onset over Mumbai by June 14 or 15.” Skymet had earlier said onset was expected on June 13.
Deoras added that coastal districts of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Raigad were expected to receive moderate to heavy rain between June 14 and 16. “Mumbai is likely to witness more persistent and some intense showers during June 15 and 16,” he said.
Mumbai and its suburbs recorded light overnight showers between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. South Mumbai recorded 1.1 mm rain, while the suburbs received 5.6 mm. No rain was recorded between 8.30am and 5.30pm Thursday as the maximum and minimum temperatures were close to the normal mark.
MUMBAI FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM TO BE LAUNCHED TODAY
The country’s second urban flood warning system will be launched on Friday by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and Union minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. HT had reported on Wednesday that the system will provide early warning for flooding, specially during high rainfall events and cyclones. Jointly conceived by several departments of the ministry of earth sciences and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the system will estimate ward wise flood levels, assess vulnerable areas and identify mitigation measures.