As Mumbaikars brace for heavy rainfall this weekend, the changing winds and south moving offshore trough may bring some respite to the city as the severity forecast changes from ‘excessive/extremely heavy’ to ‘heavy’, implying a less catastrophic scenario than the one envisaged earlier.
Light to moderate rainfall lashed the city yesterday, leaving several areas waterlogged, forcing at least three flights to divert and affecting train operations.
In the 24-hour period ending 8:30 am today, 30.2 mm of rainfall was recorded at IMD’s Colaba observatory and 41 mm at the Santacruz one.
At the start of the week, both India Meteorological Department (IMD) and private agency Skymet had earlier warned of heavy rainfall in Maharashtra and Mumbai from June 8 to 10.
“Rainfall activity is likely to increase over parts of Maharashtra and Goa states from June 6, leading to advance of southwest monsoon over these areas during June 6 to June 8,” the IMD said in its bulletin.
Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, M Rajeevan, said monsoon is “strengthening” from June 7 and Kerala, coastal Karnataka, the Konkan belt, including Mumbai, and Goa are likely to witness “very heavy rains” and “possible flooding” from June 10 onwards.
The Regional Meteorological Centre of Mumbai also advised people to “abstain from outdoor activities as much as possible” during the period from June 9-10.
According to Skymet, the onset of heavy rainfall could be attributed to the change in wind direction brought on by the setting in of westerly winds, which typically favour heavy rains.
In the wake of recent development, and unlike the earlier forecast, Mumbai is set to receive maximum rainfall on Saturday instead of Sunday. Maximum rainfall activity can be expected in the 24-hour period between Saturday morning to Sunday morning.
Moreover, the intensity of rainfall is expected to be a lot less than anticipated as the monsoon vortex is likely to skim the city instead of passing through it. Areas near Ratnagiri, Panaji and Karwar, however, are set to receive maximum rainfall in next 2 days.
#Update: For now, it looks like the #monsoonvortex will skim past #Mumbai (It will pass through #Dapoli, #Ratnagiri). So the accumulated rainfall for #Mumbai looks to be between 150-200 mm. The intense R/F activity will be from 9th (Noon) to 10th (Noon). #mumbairains. https://t.co/ypjn6bZtR6
— Sridhar Balasubramanian (@SriGmfl) June 7, 2018
Earlier today, several experts also debunked the possibility of rainfall similar to that of July 26, 2005, when the city saw 944 mm rainfall in just 24 hours, while urging citizens to exercise caution.
Meanwhile, European and UK weather models have forecast rains ranging from 100 to 250 mm till Monday. Incidentally, even 100 mm rainfall is more than adequate to cause flooding and bring the city to a grinding halt.
Last year, lakhs of Mumbaikars were left stranded when the city received over 300 mm rainfall on August 29. At the time, almost all modes of transport in the city – buses, trains & cabs – had ceased operations for several hours. Schools and colleges were also shut.
IMD’s latest forecast:
For Saturday, June 9: Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places.
For Sunday, June 10: Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at few places.
So to conclude need to see how quickly off shore trough tilt towards Mumbai Coast. Santacruz yesterday got 41mm and average rains in City was around 50mm, as of now still chance of 220-250mm rains more till Monday but ignore the 26 July kinda rains rumours. #MumbaiRains
— Mumbai Weather (@IndianWeather_) June 8, 2018
In the wake of the impending rainfall, Mumbai’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC, has taken a number of precautionary measures to ensure a safe monsoon:
- BMC has cancelled the leaves of all its senior officials to prepare for any emergency.
- 3 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be stationed at Parel, Mankhurd, and Andheri with rescue material.
- Navy personnel will be deployed in Colaba, Worli, Ghatkopar, Trombay and Malad for flood rescue.
- 6 flood rescue teams of Mumbai fire brigade will be posted at the regional command centres.
- Emergency assistance functions like BEST (bus transport system), police, traffic police and education officers have been alerted.
- Schools will be kept open at all times for shelter in case of flooding.
- Fishermen have warned against venturing far out into the sea.