The monsoon trough across North-West India continues to shift its alignment from North to South and back, changing the dynamics of weather over ground periodically from extreme wet and flooding to near normalcy — especially over the already flood-hit East and North-East — before repeating the cycle all over again.

The region is expecting the monsoon to peak as the tail of the trough, which always a carries a sting, set to be unleashed as the parent trough starts to move it from the South later on Monday (near the Bay of Bengal) northwards to the foothills of the Himalayas across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and the north-eastern States.

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Podcast | Weather report: July 27, 2020

The western end of the trough may remain weak with the absence of easterly winds’ support from the Bay of Bengal (thanks to the lack of a resident cyclonic circulation) during the next two days, leading to a subdued monsoon over the plains of North-West and Central India for the next two days.

More rain for East, North-East

The active eastern end of the trough would scale up rains over the North-East with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall between Tuesday and Thursday. The unstable monsoon trough would later shift back to the South and allow easterly/southeasterly monsoon winds from the Bay from Thursday.

This could bring back the rains to the plains and hills of North India, with fairly widespread to widespread rainfall; Bihar, the hills of West Bengal, Sikkim, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand may see isolated heavy to very heavy falls on Wednesday and Thursday.

In the South, a shear zone of monsoon turbulence may develop, linking Kochi and Madurai on Tuesday and moving northwards during the subsequent two days. This would bring fairly widespread to widespread rainfall, with isolated heavy falls over Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Coastal and South Interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala from Tuesday to Thursday.

15 years since Mumbai floods

July 26-27 marked the 15th anniversary of the 2005 Mumbai floods, which saw the metropolis virtually coming to stop following a record rainfall of 99.4 cm in 24 hours, claiming many lives. Large numbers of people were stranded on the road across the metropolis and greater Maharashtra; others lost homes; and many had to walk long distances from work that (July 26) evening.

Chennai-based Kea Weather blogger S Sivakumar (who writes under the pseudonym of Shiva and blogger user ID of Novak Nole) recounted to BusinessLine his experience in Mumbai, where he used to work. “I was just about getting my schedule ready with a list of clients to be met at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai. The weekly office meeting was scheduled at Mahim West at 3.15 pm.”

The morning was quite calm, the skies littered with unproductive high clouds and the Sun sort of playing hide and seek, pretending to take it easy during the peak monsoon month. It was business was usual on the roads and street corners. Lifeline EMUs were packed with commuters, much like sardines. Even a fly would think twice before squeezing its way into the crowd. Everything seemed absolutely normal.

Few warning signs

“My work schedule at Kalamboli was in the last lap and I wanted to push things quickly in time to board the first available state transport bus to Kings Circle,” said Shiva. At around 1 pm, it was quiet and calm ....only clouds had turned dark grey with a rumble here and there...but birds had looked slightly fidgety and busier than usual, probably sensing what was in store over the next few hours..”

And then the skies unleashed a huge thunder clap, almost an explosion of sorts. The few drops of rain started to grow bigger by the minute. “Puzzled, I looked at the skies. I could also discern murmurs from crowds on the street. Before you could blink or think, the heavens opened up and let down a torrent that continued to pour till early next morning, creating history of sorts over the geography of Mumbai,” Shiva said.