Mumbai: Season’s heaviest rain, second-highest 24-hour Sept spell in 26 years

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By
Sep 23, 2020 10:27 AM IST

It was also the fourth highest 24-hour September rain recorded during 1974-2020 and continuous downpour led to water logging in several areas across the MMR

Mumbai’s suburbs witnessed an incessant downpour between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning with 286.4mm rain, categorised as extremely heavy rainfall.

Water logging at King’s Circle in Mumbai.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Water logging at King’s Circle in Mumbai.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)

This is the heaviest rain the suburbs received this season and the second-highest 24-hour September spell in 26 years (1994-2020). This is also the fourth-highest 24-hour September spell recorded during 1974-2020.

A continuous intense downpour on Tuesday night led to water logging in several areas across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). After the intensity of rain reduced marginally around midnight, thundershowers were witnessed around 3.30am onwards, followed by intense downpour.

Also Read: Local trains cancelled in Mumbai due to heavy rainfall and waterlogging

Between 8.30am Tuesday and 8.30am Wednesday, the Santacruz weather station, representative of the suburbs, recorded 286.4mm (extremely heavy) rain while Colaba, representative of south Mumbai, recorded 147.8mm (very heavy) rain. Of this, 107mm rain was recorded over six hours on Tuesday (5.30pm to 11.30pm) and remaining 179.4mm from 11.30pm to 5.30am Wednesday, while south Mumbai recorded 89mm rain over six hours Tuesday (5.30pm to 11.30pm) and the remaining 58.5mm till 8.30am Wednesday. Light rain continued across parts of the city beyond 8.30am Wednesday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) classifies 15.6-64.4mm as moderate rain while 64.5-115.5mm rain as heavy, 115.6-204.4mm as very heavy, over 204.5mm as extremely heavy rain, and over 300mm as exceptionally heavy rain.

A waterlogged road in Parel, Mumbai. (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
A waterlogged road in Parel, Mumbai. (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

“Both the suburbs and south Mumbai received very intense rain throughout the night. Most of MMR. The entire western side of Mumbai, from Colaba to Bhayandar, was under a thick cloud cover (maximum height 7-8km) causing very heavy rain since Tuesday evening. Short bursts of intense rain were recorded across isolated areas and the trend continued throughout the night with thundershowers and intense rain between 3.30am and 5.30am,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Prior to the 24-hour rain between Tuesday and Wednesday, the heaviest rain this season for Mumbai suburbs was recorded between August 3 and 4 at 268.6mm. The highest rain for south Mumbai however was recorded between August 5 and 6 at 331.2mm.

Also Read: Water logging in Mumbai: BMC urges residents to stay home

On September 20, 2016, Mumbai had recorded 303.7mm rain. Prior to that, 312.4mm rain was recorded on September 23, 1993 and 318.2mm rain on September 23, 1981.

The weather bureau has sounded a yellow alert (possibility of heavy rain across isolated areas) for the rest of Wednesday and predicted a gradual reduction in rain intensity by Wednesday evening.


    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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