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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Mumbai’s only Doppler Radar again malfunctions, heavy rain likely today

On May 17, a day before Cyclone Tauktae brushed past the city's coastline, the Doppler Radar had become defunct.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
July 15, 2021 4:43:21 am
People walk in the rain with umbrellas at Mumbai on Wednesday, (Express Photo by Ganesh shirsekar)

The India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) only Doppler Radar in Mumbai, which surveys weather patterns and forecast, again stopped working on Wednesday afternoon, when the city was witnessing rainfall. By 8.30 pm, it started functioning partially.

On May 17, a day before Cyclone Tauktae brushed past the city’s coastline, the Doppler Radar had become defunct. It had started operating recently, after nearly a two-month repair work. Doppler Radar is crucial for gauging the intensity of rainfall and impact area in real-time.

“It is an old machine and is under maintenance. The radar is not working owing to technical problems. Engineers are looking into it. It should be noted that there is no impact on the forecast because of this… we have high-resolution satellite images,” said Dr Jayanta Sarkar, head, Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai.

In the absence of the radar located at IMD’s Colaba observatory – which can carry out weather surveillance up to a radius of 450-500 km – satellite pictures and wind profiles are used for forecast, said the met department.

On Wednesday, widespread light to moderate rain was recorded in Mumbai. In nine hours since 8.30 am, IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded 5.5 mm of rain, while the Colaba observatory recorded 37.6 mm rain. Rainfall picked up in the evening, with an intense spell (30-50 mm in an hour) recorded in island city and suburbs.

The IMD has issued a yellow alert with a forecast of heavy rain at isolated places for Mumbai, Palghar and Thane till Friday. A reduction in rainfall is forecast post-Friday in Mumbai.

It has also issued a red alert with extremely heavy rainfall warning for Ratnagiri for Thursday. Heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places is very likely in Raigad and Sindhudurg till Friday.

Mumbai received heavy rainfall in 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Wednesday. The Santacruz observatory recorded 89.6 mm rainfall in 24 hours beginning 8.30 am on Tuesday.

During the same period, Colaba observatory recorded 111.2 mm, also categorised as heavy. A few spells were recorded in Mumbai on Tuesday night, leading to a waterlogging in low-lying areas of Sion and Dadar.

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