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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Uttarakhand: ‘Changing monsoon pattern led to October rain’

IMD data also shows that Uttarakhand recorded an alarming 192.6 mm of rainfall in October, out of which 122.4 mm was recorded in the 24 hours that caused mass devastation.

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: October 22, 2021 7:33:48 am
uttarakhand floods, Uttarakhand weather today, Nainital situation today, Nainital floods, Kumaon landslide, Uttarakhand govt, CM Dhami, Uttarakhand news, Indian expressDebris being cleared in Bhimtal. (PTI)

In Uttarakhand, 64 people lost their lives this week on account of excessive rain and the landslides.

IMD data also shows that Uttarakhand recorded an alarming 192.6 mm of rainfall in October, out of which 122.4 mm was recorded in the 24 hours that caused mass devastation.

What has happened in Uttarakhand, as well as other states such as Kerala, is linked to the changing patterns of monsoon, said experts. Over the past decade, the monsoon has been retreating far later than before. The extended stay of the monsoon means that the weather systems are still present in the country to create the circumstances for sporadic excess rainfall.

Experts said the Western Disturbances, which are present in the country through the year, rise above a certain latitude in February and then descend after October. This is the time the monsoon has retreated from the country, so the conditions, especially in hill states such as J&K, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh from where monsoon retreats the earliest, are dry. So, the Western Disturbances are restricted to causing light winter rainfall from November. This year, however, a combination of Western Disturbances along with the low-pressure system created by the monsoon has led to untimely, excessive rains.

Explained

Delayed monsoon trigger

Had monsoon departed on time, there would not have been such torrential rain, say experts. The normal date for withdrawal of monsoon from the entire country is October 15. This year, monsoon is expected to retreat entirely by October 26.

Experts say the low-pressure area travelled all along the Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) which was then passing through parts of Central India. The system moved north towards Uttarakhand and then recurved towards Uttar Pradesh.

“Had the monsoon departed timely, we would not have seen such torrential rains…While there was a Western Disturbance up in the hills, two low pressure areas were seen over MP and the Bay of Bengal, respectively. What prompted these systems was the delayed withdrawal of monsoon…By then, the NLM was still passing through MP so these low pressure areas tended to travel deep inside the land,” said G P Sharma, President, Meteorology and Climate Change, Skymet Weather.

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