May 17, 2021 11:14:10 pm
Mumbai on Monday experienced its wettest-ever day in May, breaking all previous 24-hour rainfall records.
The Santacruz observatory recorded 214mm between 8.30am and 8.30pm on Monday. The all-time 24-hour rainfall recorded here for May previously was 190mm (2000).
Likewise, the Colaba observatory recorded 202mm during these twelve hours and broke the existing 24-hour rainfall record of 190.8mm (2000) on Monday.
It is the Extremely Severe Cyclone Tauktae, that came closest at 145km to the west of Mumbai, which brought such heavy rain over the maximum city in a peak summer month. Cyclone Tauktae made landfall in Gujarat Monday evening.
As the cyclone came nearer and ran almost parallel to Mumbai during the afternoon hours of Monday, the city experienced winds touching a maximum speed of 108km/hr.
Even though this rainfall may be a daily phenomenon for Mumbai during the monsoons and not generally considered a very high rainfall quantum, such spells in May are uncommon. For instance, the rainfall records maintained by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) between 2011 and 2021 state that both Colaba and Santacruz observatories recorded rainfall in May only once in 2017 (3mm).
Earlier in the day, Ratnagiri had reported similar record rainfall, measuring 364mm within 15 hours between Sunday and Monday morning 8.30am.
“The cyclone has caused exceptionally heavy rainfall all along the west coast including Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and now over Maharashtra, as it started advancing from Lakshadweep up northwards,” said a senior IMD official from New Delhi.
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The passing cyclone resulted in severe water logging, temporary closure of airport, and suspension of local and mono-rail services in Mumbai on Monday.
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