With a 30 per cent deficiency, Pune is among the top five driest cities in Maharashtra in the ongoing pre-monsoon season.
Barring a few spells reported last week, which cumulatively accounted for only 6 mm of rain, the city has not experienced even one good spell of rain in the March-April pre-monsoon period. With not much respite from the heat, pre-monsoon showers have largely eluded most parts of Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha.
Till the end of the month, heatwave conditions are likely to continue over Vidarbha, where the maximum temperature currently ranges around 46 degrees Celsius. However, the situation across cities in Konkan, Solapur and Jalgaon is different, as they continue to remain in the excess rainfall category. Meanwhile, Ratnagiri is among the wettest districts this year.
This subdued rainfall activity has left districts such as Ahmednagar, Parbhani, Akola, Amravati, Aurangabad and Jalna over 90 per cent dry this season, with little hope of any rainfall event, until monsoon arrives in June. Though weather experts at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) are unable to attribute any particular reason for the absence of rain during recent months, they believe it could be because of large-scale global climate events. “Excess warming, experienced all over the globe, can trigger an alteration in the position of anti-cyclones, which could bring rains,” said an IMD official.
In India, there needed to be two anti-cyclones of near-similar magnitude, in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, only when a wind-sheer difference is formed. Along with that, moisture incursion, a key factor, remained absent for a large period.
“This year, it was observed that the anti-cyclone in the Bay of Bengal was weaker. Also, dry and hot winds from the Arabian Sea, blowing over the Indian mainland, kept away systems that could bring rains,” said Sunitha Devi, a senior official from the climate monitoring and analysis group. Warmer than usual sea surface temperatures (SST) and neutral El Nino conditions may also have contributed to the lack of rainfall this year. El Nino — the abnormal warming of the east central and Pacific Ocean — is often associated with below-normal southwest monsoon over India.