North India gets relief after 4 days of sweltering heat

After intense heat for the last four days, light to moderate rainfall on Sunday evening has brought some relief from hot and humid weather conditions in some parts of north India. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted intense rainfall activity over north India from July 19-21 and over the west coast till July 23 over north India where the heavy rain belt has checked in afresh. The onset of monsoon has brought incessant rains in several parts of the country, including Mumbai where massive overnight downpour led to at least 25 deaths and six injured and massive damage following landslides on Sunday morning. Several parts of the Maharashtra capital reported waterlogging while rainwater entered many houses.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences, Dr Jitendra Singh on Sunday visited Mausam Bhavan and reviewed the Monsoon trends at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) headquarters. The Minister spent over an hour, personally studying the Southwest monsoon trends. He also went to the exclusive Satellite and Radar Sections, and discussed the process of procurement of data on a real-time basis. He was informed that monsoon rainfall was 10% above normal in June and 26% deficient till date in July.

According to the IMD, rainfall activity is likely to increase over North-West India with fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls along the hills (Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan, Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) and adjoining Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and north Madhya Pradesh from July 18 to 21. Satellite pictures on Sunday morning showed intense clouds over the northern parts of the country spread across Jabalpur, Bhopal, Saurashtra, Udaipur, Kota, Jaipur, Allahabad, Lucknow and Delhi, among others. Rain-battered Mumbai remains cloudy but can expect thundershowers from noon. There will be decrease in rainfall activity over the same regions thereafter.

“The active monsoon is propped up by the crucial land-based monsoon trough with its western end at the normal position and expected to move further north to host an intense wet session over North India,” said officials.

The IMD said moderate to severe thunderstorms with lightning are very likely at isolated places over Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and east Rajasthan during the next 24 hours. “They may cause injuries leading to casualties to people and animals staying outdoor,” the IMD cautioned.

Isolated, extreme heavy rainfall is also very likely over Uttarakhand on July 18 and 19 and over northwestern parts of UP on July 19. Moderate to heavy rainfall at isolated places are also very likely over Delhi and Chandigarh on July 18 and 19. Western and southern India is also expected to receive heavy rains. Widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy rains are very likely to continue over the western coast and adjoining inland areas during the next 5-6 days. Heavy rains have been battering parts of Maharashtra.

The IMD said isolated, extremely heavy falls are also very likely over Konkan region and Goa adjoining the ghat areas of central Maharashtra, coastal and south interior Karnataka during July 18 to 19 and over Gujarat region on July 18. Isolated heavy falls are likely over east and adjoining central India from July 22 onwards. The IMD turned the alert from ‘orange’ to ‘red’ for Mumbai in the backdrop of the heavy rains.

According to officials, its Doppler radar has captured a cloud top height of nearly 18 kms or 60,000 feet. The storm described as “massive” and “monstrous”, formed initially over Raigad district late Saturday, then slowly moved north along the west coast till it reached south Gujarat.

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