Will cyclone impact onset of monsoon in Maharashtra?

Published on Jun 03, 2020 01:05 AM IST
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By, Mumbai

With the southwest monsoon expected to reach Mumbai around June 11, experts are divided over whether its onset will be impacted by cyclone Nisarga, which is the first pre-monsoon cyclone to hit Maharashtra in 59 years.

On Tuesday, IMD said it didn’t expect Nisarga to delay the monsoon. “Sometimes, such large weather systems favour monsoon conditions by aiding convection and allowing the faster progression of the overall system. This is likely to happen for areas impacted by the cyclone,” said Sunitha Devi, in-charge of cyclones, IMD.

Other meteorologists predicted the onset for around June 12. “Since the cyclone has formed early in the season, a delay may not happen,” said Sridhar Balasubramanian, associate professor, IDP in Climate Studies, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. Mahesh Palawat, vice president of private weather forecasting agency Skymet, said the onset was expected around June 13.

Generally, a cyclone is followed by a lull in monsoon progression. “This is because the cyclone changes the thermodynamic and dynamic conditions such as temperature, humidity, and circulation of the entire region. But in this case, hopefully, the southwest monsoon should reorganise soon,” said Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll, senior scientist, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.

Last year, the onset of the monsoon over Mumbai was on June 25. It was the most delayed onset in 45 years because of the very severe cyclonic storm Vayu (June 10-17) over the Arabian Sea.

Independent meteorologist and researcher at the University of Reading, Akshay Deoras believes Nisarga will delay the monsoon’s onset. “In Mumbai and the Konkan, monsoon’s arrival will perhaps be a little before June 15. This southerly wind pattern will be extremely similar to mid-June 2019 when Vayu had disturbed the monsoon’s progression,” said Deoras. He also said farmers should wait a week after June 4 before sowing crops. “The state might witness a resurgence in the rainfall activity from June 12 and the monsoon’s probable arrival in interior areas is expected after June 15. A few days before this would be the appropriate sowing period,” he said.


    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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