With the monsoon yet to withdraw from the city, the weather department has not ruled out the possibility of a wet Diwali this year. The suburbs witnessed heavy thundershowers on Monday night with the Santacruz observatory recording 31.1 mm of rainfall.
“As on today, the monsoon withdrawal has only reached the fringes of the city — at Dahanu. We cannot rule out the possibility of rain in the city on Diwali. Monsoon winds are still present in the city,” said K S Hosalikar, Deputy Director-General (Western Region), India Meteorological Department (IMD). Many parts of central and south Mumbai, meanwhile, witnessed a thick layer of haze Monday morning.
According to the IMD, it was a result of suspended dust particles in the air. “With no rains for sometime, higher humidity and calm winds, the dust particles remain suspended in the air and this has caused the haze. It is generally seen during sunrise or sunset and the frequency of such incidents are likely to increase during winter. It can also affect visibility for the aviation sector,” added Hosalikar.
The humidity in the city was high on Monday morning — 95 per cent at Santacruz and 92 per cent at Colaba. With the skies darkening for over a week, some feel it may have already rained down on Diwali preparations.
Vidya Vaidya, a Bandra resident, said rain had taken a toll on her Diwali faraal preparation this year. “As part of Diwali traditions, we make a delicacy called ‘Kanole’, similar to the ‘karanji’, with a coconut filling. Fresh grated coconut has to be dried in the sun for the dish. But since there is no sun this year, we bought desiccated coconut this time. We have never done this before because the taste is really different.
We have also not been able to put the kandil outside the house because of the rain,” she said. The forecast, however, says the city is likely to see mainly clear sky for the next three days. The rains are likely to resume from Friday. Meanwhile, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts are likely to receive light to moderate rainfall Tuesday.