Even as the India Meteorological Department said there was no sign of the southwest monsoon retreating in the next few days, the weather department has issued a red alert for Mumbai and Thane on Thursday, The Indian Express reported. The Met department also predicted heavy rain at isolated places in Mumbai, and increased rainfall in the interior regions of Maharashtra till September 25.

It said parts of Madhya Pradesh and Delhi were likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall on Wednesday. “Withdrawal of the monsoon is not expected immediately,” National Weather Forecasting Centre head K Sathi Devi told Hindustan Times. “We are not meeting the retreat criteria. Rainfall is continuing. Retreat was to begin on September 1. We do not have any indication for retreat to begin in the next five days.”

AK Srivastava, who heads the climate change research division of the weather department in Pune, said this delayed withdrawal of monsoon had been the trend over the past decade. “This may be because of interaction with extra-tropical systems or systems developing in Bay of Bengal,” he added. “There is now good rainfall even in the later part of monsoon in September.”

Meanwhile, there were reports of heavy rainfall and waterlogging in Patna, ANI reported. At least 18 people have been killed in lightning strikes in the state since Tuesday, according to PTI. The state Disaster Management Department said there were three deaths each in Gaya and Kaimur, followed by two deaths each in Patna, Bhojpur, East Champaran, Siwan and Arwal. Two deaths were reported from Katihar and Jehanabad districts.

Rain also lashed parts Uttar Pradesh while in the south, Telangana received “heavy to very heavy” rainfall.

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