Sultry days and rainy evenings are making the city morose over the past week. Erratic thunderstorms, which began rattling the city since the beginning of October, have put Mumbaikars in discomfort as large number of people are contracting dengue and other viral infections, city doctors said.
“There has been a spurt in the dengue cases since the start of this month. Intermittent showers are causing an increase in the number of people falling sick. The season is providing an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Heavy rains could have washed away the breeding, but mild showers are contributing to the rise in cases,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, head, epidemiology, BMC.
While August saw 152 cases of dengue in civic hospitals, there has been an over 50% increase in the number of cases in the last month. Close to 242 cases of dengue were reported in September. The civic body is collating data on number of dengue cases registered since the start of October, however, BMC officials have confirmed that the disease is not seeing any signs of receding in the current month.
Doctors say while till some years ago, the peak of monsoon ailments was usually reached in the month of August, an increasing number of patients are pouring in September and October this year.
“With an extended rainy season and fluctuation in the weather, monsoon ailments are on the rise even in October. Close to 40% of all patients in the OPD are suffering from allergy-related cough and cold or upper respiratory tract disorders. Also, dengue, pneumonia and viral conjuctivitis cases are regularly pouring in,” said Dr Hakim Pardawalla, physician at Saifee Hospital in Charni Road.
Weather bureau officials said intermittent spells of rain and thunderstorms will last for at least another two days due to the formation of an upper cyclonic system above the Konkan coast in Maharashtra. While during the day, temperature soars at 33 degree celsius, there is increased accumulation of moisture due to rising heat above the earth’s surface. “Formation of an upper cyclonic system above the Konkan coastal region since start of October has resulted in thunderstorms and intermittent spells of showers in the city. The cooling showers then lead to a drop in temperature upto 23 to 24 degree Celsius in the evening,” said NY Apte, deputy director general of meteorology, regional met centre at Colaba.
Nothing abnormal: IMD
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has attributed Mumbai’s erratic weather in the past week to high humidity levels and a transitional period between seasons, and has said that the pattern will continue over the next three to four days.
The city has been experiencing high temperatures in the afternoon and rainfall late in the evening for around a week.
“The rainfall in the city can be attributed to upper air cyclonic circulation over the coastal areas of Maharashtra and its neighborhood, apart from the high humidity in the afternoon,” said NY Apte, deputy director general, IMD.
He further said that the present weather conditions are normal during the transition phase of the season every year. “It is a normal phenomenon during this time of the season. We are expecting that it will continue for the next three to four days,” he added.
So far, the Colaba and Santa Cruz weather stations have recorded 107.2mm and 158.2mm of rainfall respectively between October 1 and 8. However, the IMD forecasts moderate rainfall for the next few days in the city and suburbs.
“As the present weather systems are becoming weak, we are expecting not much rainfall and only moderate rainfall in the next two to three days,” said VK Rajeev, director, IMD. Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon has further withdrawn from most parts of UP, some more parts of MP and Gujarat and some parts of Bihar.