Even as search, rescue and relief operations are still underway in flood-affected areas of Uttarakhand, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned on Monday that there could be heavy to very heavy rainfalls in many parts of the State on July 5 and 6.

Senior meteorologists told The Hindu that though the rains this time may not be as intense as between June 15 and 17, there was a need to be on alert as there were possibilities for landslips and flash floods.

“Rainfall this time may last for just about 36 hours, as against 72 hours of continuous downpour between June 15 and 17 and the quantum of precipitation is also likely to be around 7 cm to 13 cm only, compared to 20 cm plus in most areas then. But, one cannot forget that the mountains have become soggy and raw. The fresh rains could trigger landslips and flash floods,” they said.

O.P. Singh, Deputy Director General, Meteorology and head of the Regional Meteorological Centre, said that apart from Uttarakhand, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir could also receive rainfall between July 5 and 6.

Centre’s programme

As a follow-up to the massive tragedy, the Centre has initiated efforts to fast-track a plan to launch an integrated Himalayan meteorology programme which will aim at upgrading climate monitoring and forecast services over the Himalayan region.

The programme envisages integration of observational networks within India with those of neighbouring countries in the region to provide for a comprehensive analysis of mountain weather.

The programme would be implemented by the IMD in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment.

The deliverables under the programme would include establishing additional and critical state-of-the art surface and upper air observatories for generating real time observations.

“Existing surface observations from the meteorological are hardly sufficient to meet the weather forecasting needs of the region.,” a senior IMD official said.