Deluge again hits life in India’s financial capital

20 September, Mumbai


Dabbawalas suspended services, flights were disrupted, educational institutions closed and local train operations hit as there was no stopping for the rains.The Met Office, which has forecast more rain in the next 24 hours, said the “worst is over”.

”We have removed warning (for heavy rainfall), intermittent rainfall is likely over city and suburbsfor the next 48 hours,” a senior weather official said.In the last one decade, Mumbai recorded its maximum 24-hour September rainfall and second highest all-time high rain for the city.

Low-lying areas are flooded due to torrential rain in the city which has paralysed rail, road and air traffic. Schools and colleges have been shut for today and tomorrow. Education Minister Vinod Tawde had late night announced closure of all schools and colleges in Mumbai metropolitan region for the day.

Santa Cruz weather station, representative of the suburbs and Mumbai, recorded 303.7 mm, and Colaba, representative of south Mumbai, recorded 210 mm rain, which is the highest for south Mumbai this monsoon season.

The city was just 14.5 mm short of recording the all-time high 24-hour September rainfall at 318.2 mm recorded on September 12, 1981.

Mumbai’s average rainfall for September is 312.3 mm, which was surpassed over the past 24 hours. Currently, the city has recorded 536.4 mm in September. The total rainfall this season is at 2,879.5 mm as against the annual average of 2,258 mm rain.

Under the Weather Department’s classification, 15.6 mm to 64.4 mm of rain is considered ‘moderate’, 64.5 mm to 115.5 mm is ‘heavy’, 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm is ‘very heavy’ and more than 204.5 mm is ‘extreme’.

”The current satellite images tell us that the thick cloud patch over Mumbai has died down and moved over parts of south Gujarat.

Deputy Director General Western Region, India Meteorological Department K S Hosalikar said, ”Heavy to very heavy rainfall levels are likely to reduce to light to moderate through Wednesday. However, as of now our warnings continue.”

He added that three weather factors that led to the heavy cloud formation still persist. ”A low pressure area over Bay of Bengal, cyclonic circulation over central Maharashtra and a trough (weather depression) that extends from Konkan coast to Kerala, led to the dark cloud formation over Arabian Sea that moved over onto Mumbai and parts of Konkan. While these factors are still strong, the system is shifting northwards,” he said. ”This is one of the highest rainfall levels seen during September in the city’s history,” he added.

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