Pune’s tryst with unseasonal rains continues, with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting more rains in the next 48 hours. A series of western disturbance as a trough and a cyclonic circulation near Rajasthan has made the weather conducive for thundershowers. While the rains have brought relief from heat, it is bad news for vegetables and Kesar mango growers in Marathwada.
On Saturday evening, parts of Pune, Auranganad, Beed, Parbhani and other parts of Marathwada witnessed thundershowers. Parts of Gondia and Chandrapur too received heavy rainfall and thundershowers. Both Gondia and Chandrapur received 2 mm rainfall each.
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For Pune, the rain brought relief from the soaring heat, with the mercury going down. The maximum temperature recorded on Saturday was 37, a three-degree fall from normal. Last week, the temperature had crossed 38 degrees, marking the hottest day of the current season.
Analysis of rainfall data from March 1 shows a major part of the country has been receiving more than 100 per cent of the normal rainfall. Marathwada, Vidarbha, Konkan and other parts of the state have received more than their share of rainfall for the season.
Bouts of unseasonal rains earlier this year had ruined most of the famous Alphonso in Konkan. The unseasonal bouts of rains in Marathwada has put at risk another mango variety — Kesar. Deepak Joshi, an orchard owner from Jalna, said the thundershowers were particularly violent posing threat to the existing crop. “The mango is almost at the mature stage and thundershowers can cause fruit drop,” he said.
Shriram Gadve, president of the Vegetables Growers’ Association of India, said around 60 per cent of the standing vegetable crops now stood destroyed in the state. “The Rabi onion, which was ready for market, too, got wasted as it is not possible to store them now,” he said.