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Rains unrelenting, depression holds

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Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram, July 4

The deep depression over land held itself together overnight, and moved west from its perch over Cuttack to lie over Raipur on Tuesday morning, generating heavy downpour all across.

The system is likely to move west-northwest and cause widespread torrential rainfall over Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha and East Madhya Pradesh during the next 24 hours, a forecast by the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) said on Tuesday.

The rain belt will move further northwest dumping rain over West Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa (including Mumbai), North Interior Karnataka and Telengana for two to three days beginning Wednesday. Isolated extremely heavy rainfall (exceeding 25 cm) has been forecast for Konkan and Goa (including Mumbai), Madhya Maharashtra and South Gujarat during the period.

An already existing upper air cyclonic circulation over the South Gujarat and North Konkan coasts is seen draining further moisture into the full-blown cloud field. This circulation is likely to persist for the next two to three days, raising the prospects of a merger with the incoming depression.

This is a scenario that bears close resemblance to that prevailing on July 26, 2005, when an unprecedented 94 cm of rain fell in Mumbai during a 24-hour period.

Explaining, Dr Akhilesh Gupta of the Department of Science and Technology said: "There is a resident circulation over the west coast and we have a counterpart monsoon system wending its way in.

ENSEMBLE COMPLETE

"An offshore trough running along the coast to the south completes the ensemble. Last but not the least, there are strong westerly flows to contend with. But 94 cm in 24 hours is once-in-a-lifetime happenstance." According to him, this should in no way lead to any compromise with preparations to deal with the ongoing rainfall in Central and North Peninsular India, which is expected to peak over the next 24-48 hours. In another significant observation, Dr Gupta said Northwest India could expect to get the first monsoon showers from July 9 (Sunday). This will take place with monsoon easterlies from the Bay of Bengal interacting with an incoming western disturbance. Entire North India, stretching from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi, will be covered under this spell.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 5, 2006)
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