Mumbai gets 83.6% of season’s average rainfall in two months
Mumbai’s suburban weather observatory recorded 219.2mm of rain between 8.30am on Friday and 8.30am on Saturday, making it the second-highest 24-hour rainfall this season. The downpour led to waterlogging, flight and railway disruptions, and traffic jams across the city.
With around two months to go before the monsoon ends, Mumbai recorded 83.6% of its seasonal average rainfall (2,232mm) from June 1 to 8.30pm on Saturday.
South Mumbai and the suburbs recorded ‘moderate’ rain at 36.4mm and 18.3mm, respectively, from 8.30am to 8.30pm on Saturday. Areas in northern suburbs of Mumbai recorded 60mm rain through the day on Saturday. Thane recorded 115mm heavy rain during the same time. Areas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) recorded exceptionally heavy rain – the highest for the season in over a decade, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Badlapur recorded the highest rainfall along the Konkan coast at 447mm, with extremely heavy rain at Murbad (332mm), Karjat (300mm), Ulhasnagar (296mm), Ambernath (280mm), Thane (236mm), and Kalyan (231mm) in 24 hours.
The weather bureau has issued a red alert for Sunday, predicting isolated extremely heavy rain spells in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad. “Monsoon current over North Konkan is vigorous, allowing short bursts of intense rain in Mumbai and sustained rainfall activity over surrounding areas,” said Bishwambhar Singh, director, regional meteorological centre, IMD Mumbai. “These weather systems are allowing more moisture incursions over the coast and strong westerly winds leading to heavy to very heavy rain, with isolated extremely heavy spells expected on Sunday.”
However, private weather forecasting agencies and independent meteorologists had a contrary view. “While heavy to very heavy rain is likely between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the intensity is likely to be lesser than what was witnessed over the past 24 hours, as rain-bearing factors are weakening. However, with the low pressure strengthening over the east coast, rain intensity is likely to increase again from Monday,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet.
Sridhar Balasubramanian, associate professor, department of mechanical engineering and associate faculty, IDP Climate Studies, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, said, “Mumbai and surrounding areas can expect heavy to very heavy rains with a maximum of 150mm up to Sunday afternoon, but not more.”
Of the 219.2mm in Mumbai suburbs in 24 hours, 196mm was recorded in just 15 hours between 5.30pm Friday to 8.30am Saturday. The suburbs had experienced an exceptionally heavy rain spell on July 2 and 3, when 375mm was recorded in 24 hours, the highest since July 2005. South Mumbai recorded 90mm rain over the past 24 hours, falling under the heavy rain category. According to the weather department, 15.6mm to 64.4mm of rain is considered ‘moderate’, 64.5mm to 115.5mm ‘heavy’, 115.6mm to 204.4mm ‘very heavy’ and more than 204.5mm ‘extremely heavy’.
As rain intensity drastically increased in the Mumbai suburbs and further northwards between Friday and Saturday, experts explained why south Mumbai received comparatively fewer showers. “Westerly winds, moving from sea to land drawing moisture, were moving at high speed over the island city giving less rain while slowly settling from Mumbai suburbs on up to areas like Badlapur, Ulhasnagar, and Thane,” said Balasubramanian.