THE RED alert issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for Mumbai on Thursday turned out to be a damp squib with the city and suburbs hardly receiving any showers. In the afternoon, the IMD reduced the warning to an orange alert with forecast of heavy rain at isolated places.
For Friday, too, IMD has issued an orange alert with forecast of heavy to very heavy rain, very likely to take place at isolated areas in Mumbai, Thane and Palghar. While parts of Mumbai witnessed a downpour late Wednesday, it remained almost dry on Thursday. The IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded 0.1 mm of rain between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm on Thursday. The Colaba observatory recorded 0.8 mm of rainfall in the same period. In the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Thursday, the suburbs received 69.4 mm of rainfall, while the island city recorded 16.6 mm.
Despite School Education Minister Ashish Shelar’s tweet urging schools and junior colleges to declare a holiday on Thursday, most institutions stayed open.“The last three times that IMD had issued an alert and a holiday was declared, it didn’t rain. Since most of our students are from the neighbourhood and the children coming to the morning session are a little older, we decided to keep school open,” said Rajendra Pradhan, president of Shiv Shikshan Sanstha Trust that runs D S High School in Sion.
Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, IMD director general of meteorology, said: “Our forecast follows a 24-hour model, which doesn’t mean it will rain throughout the day… Thane and Palghar received heavy rain on Thursday evening… There is a cyclonic circulation near Konkan coast, we are expecting formation of low pressure tomorrow and models are suggesting there will be rainfall activity.”
“We cannot avoid issuing warnings, it may go wrong, but we go by certain models based on numerical guidance,” he added.