Maharashtra: What's holding monsoons back

Weak current keeps clouds away from state

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Maharashtra: What's holding monsoons back


With the monsoon still refusing to rain down on the subcontinent, Maharashtra and most of rain-deficit western India is left looking towards the sky.

The initial predictions of the Indian Meteorological Bureau (IMD) have gone awry and weather experts are now noncommittal about the 'next pulse' of monsoon rains and whether they will sustain. As of now, only isolated instances of scattered rainfall are expected over the next five to six days.

"The current required for a normal monsoon is weak to moderate," said AK Srivastava, head of climate research division of IMD, Pune. "Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra will experience rains over the next two to three days. However, they will recede soon as conditions are unfavourable for the monsoon to stabilise."

Officially, the Southwest Monsoon has arrived but it is too weak to quench drought-impacted Maharashtra.

Not just the western state, countrywide too, the total rainfall deficit stands at a whopping 32%. IMD says a host of reasons are responsible for the weak spread of rain-bearing clouds. Apart from Cyclone Vayu, which intercepted the advance of monsoons, 'extratropical circulation' is also opposing the rain-giving current. IMD believes that this phenomenon will continue to impact the continuity of regular rainfall.

Scanty rainfall has raised the spectre of acute water shortage. The volume of water stock in seven main lakes that water Mumbai is now at a new low of 6%. The city will now have to rely on the extra reserve stock of around 1.7 lakh million litres till July-end. Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the civic body will take stock by end of June, and decide on future water cuts.

The delay of Southwest Monsoon has halted sowing of Kharif crop in the state, mainly impacting Marathwada and Vidarbha.

According to the Vagaries of the Weather blog, the total live storage in all dams is at just 6.29% as of now, as opposed to 18.98% on a corresponding day last year.

"It's not the momentum we had expected," said Rajesh Kapadia of Vagaries of the Weather, "In spite of assuring developments, the systems are failing us. We were expecting low pressure in the Bay to bring about rainfall. However, the development is very weak and it will move westwards."

He predicts a dry, warm, humid and cloudy Saturday, and thundershowers on Sunday evening and rains on Monday.

Aurangabad division in Marathwada is one of the worst-hit regions, as most dams hit rock bottom. Jayakwadi dam in Paithan, which had 34.9% water stock last year, stands at nil storage. Manjara, Majalgaon, Yeldari, Siddeshwar, Lower Terna, Sina Kolegaon and Lower Dudhana areas in Marathwada are looking at the dry bottoms of dams.

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