After a fortnight-long lull, the Southwest Monsoon has returned to its active phase, with northern regions of Maharashtra and Konkan now reporting heavy to very heavy rains since Thursday. Rainfall recorded over Pune city since Thursday night was 26 mm, the heaviest spell recorded so far in July.
This trend is expected to continue over the weekend, with the Met office even issuing watch-out warning, particularly over Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon and Dhule districts.
Surprisingly, until July 12, these northern districts fell under the ‘rainfall-deficient’ categories, with a shortage of 30-50 per cent below normal. But after only two days of heavy rainfall, these figures have not only shown a marked improvements, but they are touching normal levels.
Officials from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, have attributed the sudden spike in rainfall activity over the state to the influence of a low pressure system lying over west Madhya Pradesh.
“This system, which is expected to move towards Gujarat, is set to further intensify into a deep depression, bringing more and heavier spells of rain over Madhya Maharashtra and Konkan, especially during the weekend,” explained Sunitha Devi, senior scientist at the climate monitoring analysis group.
Some places in Raighad and Sindhudurg districts in Konkan recorded very heavy rains; Pen (240 mm) and Bhira (178 mm) were among the wettest towns on Friday. The monsoon trough has now shifted southwards and is passing through central India, so the rainfall is expected to get heavier in the coming days, said IMD authorities.
“The rainfall will be fairly well-distributed over the state, as extended range predictions indicate that the rest of July will be wet. There are fresh systems that will cause rains over central and western parts of the country,” added Sunitha Devi.
However, there is some reason to worry for Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, as the rain is expected to gather momentum only by June 20. Since the start of the monsoon season, Vidarbha has been experiencing deficient rainfall.
Explaining this phenomenon, D S Pai, head of long-range forecast, said, “This monsoon has largely been progressing with a series of western disturbances and other systems aiding rainfall. Since these systems were limited mostly to north or central India, rainfall over Vidarbha has largely remained subdued.”