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‘Strong monsoon flows’ may wallop West Coast soon

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 12, 2018

High alert Security guard on alert as high waves caused by cyclonic storm Nanauk developed over the Arabian Sea lash Mumbai’s Gateway of India. The Met Department has warned of moderate to heavy rains along the West Coast. PAUL NORONHA

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A ‘very strong monsoon flow’ from the Arabian Sea to the west Pacific, topple a likely tropical cyclone off the Philippines.

This is what the US national weather agency has forecast for the South Asia Monsoon during the rest of the week and into the next.

Reviving flows

The monsoon over India may manage to conduct itself reasonably well despite provocation in the form of another cyclone – this time to its east, in the west Pacific.

This is mainly due to the comparatively short shelf-life of the system before it fades out expectedly east of Taiwan.

All signs indicate a revival of the monsoon flows once the raging Arabian Sea cyclone Nanouk weakens off Oman.

The revival will be underwritten by a Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave transiting the Somali region and entering the Arabian Sea, peninsular India, and the Bay of Bengal, in that order.

Enhanced rain band

MJO waves travel in the higher atmosphere but sets up clouding at the ground level that sets up monsoon onset, low-pressure areas or storms.

The monsoon onset over Kerala had ridden on the back of a weaker MJO wave.

Ocean basins on either side of the peninsula are projected to come under the influence of the wave unlike when the wave travels more southerly latitudes, as is usually observed.

This is apparently what will force the flows to confine themselves to these basins and even extend to the immediate, east half-way into the west Pacific.

Most models are in general agreement for enhanced rainfall in a narrow band from the Arabian Sea to the western Pacific, the US agency said.

The reviving monsoon flows are expected to blast their way into coastal Karnataka and the Konkan-Mumbai coast. Monsoon has already delayed by two days in Mumbai, its next big stop over the country.

Warm in Mumbai

On Thursday evening, Mumbai was partly cloudy with southerly wind gusts of 33 km/hr. Humidity level at 66 per cent was not enough to trigger monsoon rain, which is at least a couple of days away still.

This is even as cyclone Nanouk prowled the waters 830 km to the west-southwest of the country’s commercial capital, which is the next big stop for the monsoon.

Rains ranging from moderate to very heavy are forecast for the east coast and into the contiguous east and North-East India as reviving flows sets off activity in the Bay of Bengal.

Published on June 12, 2014

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