A day after strong winds reaching up to 100 kmph along with heavy rain pounded Mumbai and its neighbouring areas, the rain intensity came down on Thursday with water receding in some flooded areas of the city. The weather bureau has predicted further reduction in rainfall activity from Friday onwards.
“The intense rainfall activity over the region is expected till August 6, with gradual reduction thereafter,” read the IMD’s evening bulletin. As per the 24-hour forecast, generally cloudy sky with moderate to heavy rainfall is likely in the city and suburbs with possibility of gusty winds reaching up to 60 to 70 kmph.
“Strong south westerly/westerly monsoonal flow over the Arabian Sea with winds speed reaching up to 60-70 kmph along and off the west coast at lower tropospheric levels is likely to continue to prevail during the next two days,” said IMD.
Breaking its “all-time” record of the highest 24-hour rain in August, the Colaba observatory recorded 331.8 mm rain ending at 8.30 am on Thursday — the highest in 46 years. This is also the second highest all-time record over Colaba after 575.6 mm rain on July 5, 1974. The rain intensity reduced on Thursday, with Colaba observatory recording ‘light’ rain at 10.6 mm in nine hours between 8.30 am and 5.30pm. IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded moderate rain at 25.2 mm in the same time period.
A day after wind speed between 70kmph and 80kmph, increasing up to 100 kmph was recorded, Colaba recorded a maximum speed of 70 kmph between 2.30 and 5.30 pm on Thursday. The normal wind speed on heavy rainfall days is between 25 and 30 kmph.
K S Hosalikar, deputy director general, IMD (western region), said, “Strong gusty winds are part of vigorous monsoon conditions.”
Explaining the variation in wind speed between island city and suburbs, Akshay Deoras, independent meteorologist and PhD researcher at the University of Reading, United Kingdom, said, “The wind pattern, which was caused by a low-pressure system over Mumbai, exhibited an anti-clockwise direction. This isn’t uncommon for Mumbai during the monsoon season. But the low-pressure system was unusually strong and close to the city, which amplified rain and wind effects. South Mumbai became the hotspot since the swirling wind pattern led to the concentration of clouds over the region. Impacts were less in other areas since storm clouds weakened after crossing South Mumbai.”
For the first time this season, the catchment areas outside the city limits received moderate to heavy rainfall in the last two days. The current water stock of the seven lakes that supply water to the city is at 41.47 per cent of their total capacity. The city draws water from Bhatsa, Middle Vaitarna, Upper Vaitarna, Tansa and Modak Sagar, which are in Thane and Nashik districts. The Bhatsa lake in Thane district, which contributes 50 per cent to the total water supply to Mumbai, received 144 mm of rain in the past 48 hours and is currently at 44.99 per cent (3,22,628 million litres) of its capacity.
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