This year, Mumbai has recorded its second highest amount of July rainfall since 1959. The city received 1464.8 mm rainfall in July, just short of 2014’s 1468.5 mm. Meanwhile, in the last 10 days of July, the stock of water in seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai has risen to 85% from 52%.
After a two-week delay in the onset of the monsoon, the rains seem to have decided to make up for lost time. Starting June 1, the city received 1979.9 mm of rain, 647.4 mm above normal. This is 78.76% of the season’s average and the city still has another two months of monsoon to go. Of this, July alone makes up for 1464.8 mm of rain. This is the second-highest July rainfall since the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Mumbai started maintaining records, since 1959. The all-time record was set in July 2014, when Mumbai received 1468.5 mm rain.
In the past decade, 2011 comes third at 1312.9 mm. July 2 alone received 375 mm rainfall, the second highest amount since the 2005 deluge. IMD’s Colaba observatory has also recorded very high rainfall in July at 1175.1 mm, which is 686.6 mm above normal. Total rainfall at Colaba since June stands at 1516.2 mm. However, figures for Santacruz are indicative of the entire city.
“This is unusual because the monsoon surge usually gets activated for a day or two. This time, there has been a continuous downpour from June 28 onwards towards July,” said Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist, Skymet. This year, low pressure areas over Bay of Bengal activated the West coast monsoon surge, and a cyclonic circulation persisted over Gujarat, he said. “Extreme weather events are happening across the country. In some places, three to four days’ rain falls in six to eight hours. The amount of rain is increasing but distribution is skewed.”
According to Skymet, till August 5, Mumbai will experience moderate showers with one or two intense spells but after that, it will see a dry spell for about a week. On Wednesday, the city received 65.1 mm of rain by 8:30 a.m. Till 5:30 p.m., it received only 5.6 mm rain. The maximum temperature was 28 degrees Celsius while minimum temperature was 23.4 degrees.
“There is likelihood of formation of a low pressure area over North East Bay of Bengal, the rainfall intensity is very likely to increase over the Konkan and adjoining ghat areas of Central Maharashtra over the next five days,” IMD said. It has forecast heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places for Thane and Palghar, and heavy rain at isolated places in Mumbai on Thursday. Mumbai might see some heavy spells over the weekend.
Meanwhile, city’s water stock that stood at 52.88% on July 21 has increased to 85.68% by July 31, a 32.8% leap. Of the seven lakes supplying water to Mumbai, three have already overflown. The BMC has removed the 10% water cut imposed last year. Vihar lake overflowed at 9.15 p.m. on Wednesday. It became the fourth lake to reach its brim.