Weather bureau warns of heavier showers in Mumbai through the week
After Monday’s lashing, IMD warns of heavier showers through the week
Heavy rain lashed the city for the fourth consecutive day, as the weather bureau said active monsoon conditions will lead to heavier showers through the week.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), between 8.30am and 8.30pm, the Santacruz weather station, representative of the suburbs, recorded 99.8mm rain (heavy), while Colaba, indicative of south Mumbai, recorded 37.2mm (moderate showers). At 301.4mm, Malad recorded ‘extremely heavy rain’ over nine hours on Monday (8.30am to 5.30pm), the highest in the city, followed by Goregaon (215mm), Kandivli (145mm), Powai (134mm), Andheri (115.6mm), Bhandup (115m), and Borivli (111.8mm). The remaining locations recorded below 100mm rain.
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’.
On Monday, most schools in the city saw only 40-50% student attendance, as most parents preferred not to send their children to school. “We left students whose parents came to pick them up to ensure they reach home safely,” said Prashant Redij, principal Hilda Castelino School in Kandivli. Some schools also left their staff members left early after water started accumulating in the afternoon.
Mumbai recorded heavy overnight showers with 63mm rain over a span of six hours (11.30pm to 5.30am). Rain over the past 24 hours, between 8.30am on Sunday and 8.30am on Monday, fell under the heavy category, with 91.9mm rain in the suburbs and 92.6mm rain in south Mumbai.
IMD officials said heavy to very heavy rain warnings had been issued for the entire north Konkan region for the rest of the week. While Mumbai can expect isolated heavy showers on Tuesday, rainfall intensity is likely to increase from Wednesday to Friday, with over 200mm rain expected.
For Palghar and Thane, extremely heavy rainfall warnings have been issued for the same time. “The entire state is likely to receive heavy rain during the first week of July due to active monsoon conditions triggered by three factors,” said Shubhangi Bhute, scientist, IMD Mumbai. The first system is a well-marked low pressure area over northwest Bay of Bengal, which is likely to move westwards over parts of central India, allowing an offshore trough to intensify and allow westerly winds to bring rain over the coast and interior Maharashtra. The low pressure is also aiding an east-west wind shear zone (weather system highlighting wind confluence) and a cyclonic circulation (third system) over south Gujarat and north Konkan, are all contributing towards enhanced rainfall over Maharashtra.
On Sunday, private weather forecasting agency issued a forecast that Mumbai was likely to witness severe flooding between Wednesday and Friday. “For Mumbai, chances of extremely heavy rain are between Wednesday and Friday, but developments will be monitored closer to the days. Warnings have already been issued to the authorities concerned,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet.
Independent meteorologists confirmed that from Thursday evening, the weather models showed the rain intensity would increase. “We could expect very heavy rains as the moisture incursion from Arabian Sea increases and westerly winds become stronger. There will be waterlogging issues, but it is a bit early to create flooding scare. We need to monitor how the synoptic system evolves, as things change quite dynamically,” said Sridhar Balasubramanian, associate professor, department of mechanical engineering and associate faculty, IDP Climate Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Other meteorologists said a couple of intense passing rain showers will continue in the region between Tuesday and Wednesday, but the rainfall activity is not expected to remain continuous to cause any sustained and major disruptions. “However, many areas in Vidarbha and eastern Marathwada will get good rainfall between July 2 and 4 under the influence of the low pressure region over Bay of Bengal. Temperatures in many areas will decrease in this period due to cloud cover. The state government has issued an advisory on June 30 asking people living near canals and small rivers of Vidarbha and east Marathwada to stay alert during flooding,” said Akshay Deoras, meteorologist and PhD researcher at the department of meteorology, University of Reading, UK.