Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 10 The well-marked ‘low’ over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal intensified into a depression on Saturday, crossed land on Sunday and hung over north interior Orissa retaining much of its strength.

The system is likely to move in a northwesterly direction but will pour heavily down as it negotiates the course.

Rain-battered parts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are sitting ducks for strong winds and waves of intense rain bands they whip up.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of rainfall at most places in Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls of up to 25 cm at isolated places over the next 24-48 hours.

Fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy falls is also likely over coastal Orissa and north coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 24 hours.

The rainfall belt would shift later to the remaining parts of north Maharashtra, Gujarat and south Rajasthan.

VIGOROUS MONSOON

During the 24 hours ending on Sunday morning, the monsoon was vigorous over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and active over coastal and south interior Karnataka and Rayalaseema.

The Konkan belt also saw vigorous monsoon conditions during the period while it was active over north Konkan, north madhya Maharashtra, Marathawada and Gujarat.

Rainfall reaching to 36 cm was recorded in the Ghat areas.

The Konkan and Gujarat may not have seen rains at their vigorous best yet, and are forecast to be belted with varying intensity over the next three days.

A hyperactive circulation will preside over the session from a perch rising to heights where mid-tropospheric cyclones, the prolific rain engines, are known to tread.

The system will sit over Konkan-Mumbai first and later wheel into Gujarat to the west-northwest.

All major models, including the US-based Centre for Ocean-Land-Atmospheric Studies, the US Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Centre and the Global Forecast System of the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration are in agreement with this outlook.

On Sunday, the land-based monsoon trough passed through Anupgarh, Gurgaon, Etawah, Siddi, the centre of the depression, and thence southeastward into the east-central Bay of Bengal.

The offshore trough from Maharashtra coast to Kerala coast too persisted.

HEAVY RAINS WARNED

An IMD warning said that isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely over Konkan, Goa, madhya Maharashtra and coastal Karnataka during the next 48 hours.

Isolated heavy rainfall is likely over coastal Andhra Pradesh and coastal Orissa during the next 24 hours.

The outlook for the latter three days ending August 15 spoke about possibility of fairly widespread rainfall activity over the Indo-Gangetic plains and the northeast (thanks to an incoming western disturbance), the Konkan, Goa, Gujarat and coastal Karnataka.

The western disturbance crossing over from Pakistan would possibly set up an interaction with the southeasterlies being steered by the depression to create a wet session yet again for north, northwest and even east India.

This is just what the weatherman ordered in so far as the incoming system from the Bay tracks the beaten path to herald rains not just ahead to into the front (central and west India) but reserves some of its bounty for the agriculturally important north and northwest India.

On Sunday, the western disturbance was sitting over north Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir, with an expectant cyclonic circulation over Rajasthan and Haryana.

The westerly system will `switch on’ weather as it runs first into this whirl and later the monsoon southeasterlies.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 11, 2008)
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