India Meteorological Department officials have announced that the monsoon is likely to reach Mumbai by Wednesday, the Hindustan Times reported.
“Within the next 48 hours, the southwest monsoon onset is likely over Mumbai, provided rain-bearing criteria are fulfilled,” the weather department’s scientist told the newspaper on Monday. “The criteria include consecutive rainfall for two days amounting to 2.5mm per day and supporting wind direction being westerly.”
“The current wind direction is westerly, but based on a cyclonic circulation (weather system) located over south Gujarat and surrounding areas, intensity of rain is likely to increase over Mumbai and surrounding areas from Tuesday onwards,” she added. “In such a situation, monsoon onset can be declared by Wednesday.”
The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday announced that the southwest monsoon has further advanced into several parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. In its afternoon bulletin, the weather department predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next five days. “Heavy rainfall at isolated places over Konkan and Goa, Gujarat region, Madhya Maharashtra, West Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, southeast Rajasthan and Andaman & Nicobar islands,” the bulletin said.
“Monsoon has arrived in the North Konkan regions and Madhya Maharashtra up to Alibaug, located south of Mumbai, and we expect adequate rainfall in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Bhute told The Indian Express. “Almost 85%-90% of Maharashtra has seen onset of monsoon, and even though Mumbai has seen some showers, it is not enough for us to declare the arrival of rains.”
The monsoon this time is behind schedule by over two weeks. It usually arrives in Mumbai on June 10. This is longest delay in the last 10 years, according to PTI. In 2009, monsoon had arrived on June 27 and in 2016 on June 20. An unidentified weather department official attributed the delay to late arrival of monsoon in Kerala and cyclone Vayu.
On Monday, the Santacruz weather station in Mumbai, which represents the suburbs, recorded some rain while Colaba, which represents south Mumbai, recorded 7.4mm between 8.30am and 5.30pm. “Majority of the rainfall confined to Colaba region, Andheri to Borivli, isolated areas in the eastern suburbs, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and other areas in MMR,” Hindustan Times quoted an unidentified weather department official as saying.
Private weather forecaster Skymet Weather said that sustained rainfall was expected in Mumbai from Tuesday night onwards and is expected to last through the week. “However, rainfall intensity over interior Maharashtra will reduce from Wednesday or Thursday till the first week of July,” Skymet Vice President (Meteorology and Climate Change) Mahesh Palawat said.
Rainfall in the southwest monsoon season so far this year has been 38% below normal. The weather department said that India received only 70.9 mm rainfall until June 23, against a long-period average of 114.2 mm for the period. The southwest monsoon season starts from June 1 officially, and ends on September 30. This year, it reached the Kerala coast on June 8.
BMC warns of cut in water supply
Mumbaikars may have to face further cut in water supply if monsoon does not arrive on Tuesday, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. A 10% cut in water supply is already in force.
“The water levels in the reservoirs supplying water to Mumbai are fast depleting and almost 5% water is left in them,” an unidentified civic body official told PTI. “Any further delay in monsoon may spell trouble for the city as administration may have to impose further water cut.”
There are seven reservoirs – Modak Sagar, Tansa lake, Vehar lake, Tulsi lake, Upper Vaitarna, Bhatsa and Middle Vaitarna – that supply water across Mumbai. The BMC supplies 3,750 million litres of water daily whereas the actual demand is 4,200 million litres.