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Explained: Why Mumbai has received highest-ever single-day rainfall during December

Mumbai rains: At 24.8 degrees Celsius, Mumbai also recorded the second-coldest day on Wednesday. Across the state, Pune (75.4 mm) and Nashik (63.8 mm) districts also received the highest ever rainfall for December.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: December 3, 2021 6:18:43 pm
Rain in November-December is not a usual feature in Maharashtra. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

With the heavy, unseasonal showers on Wednesday, Maharashtra capital Mumbai witnessed the highest December rainfall ever, with the IMD’s Santacruz observatory recording 91.2 mm rain in 24 hours. At 24.8 degrees Celsius, Mumbai also recorded the second-coldest day on Wednesday. Across the state, Pune (75.4 mm) and Nashik (63.8 mm) districts also received the highest ever rainfall for December.

Reason behind Mumbai’s unseasonal rainfall

Rain in November-December is not a usual feature in Maharashtra. However, a cyclonic circulation lies over the southeast and the east-central Arabian Sea, leading to heavy rainfall. Its interaction with a western disturbance — a cyclonic circulation that originates in the Mediterranean, traverses across Central Asia and gives rain and snow over north India — brings a lot of moisture. “The rainfall in the city in the winter season is owing to a cyclonic circulation over the south-east Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area which as of Wednesday was over south-east and adjoining east-central Arabian sea,” said Shubhangi Bhute, scientist at IMD, Mumbai. Under the influence of these weather systems, a wet spell continued over most parts of the state from November 30 to December 2.

Past record

Until now, the record of the all-time highest December rainfall was on December 6, 2017, when Cyclone Ockhi passed off the Mumbai coast logging 53.8 mm rain in 24 hours. In the last decade, the city has rarely received heavy rainfall in December. On December 5, 2019, 1.2 mm rain was recorded and on December 13, 2014, 1.5 mm rainfall was recorded, which falls in the light rainfall category.

The forecast

According to a seven-day forecast, Mumbai will see a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers till the weekend. IMD has forecast moderate rain on Thursday. The rainfall intensity is likely to reduce from Thursday. Dry weather is forecast for the state starting next week.

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