Heavy rain lashes Surat

(Gaurang Joshi/TOI, BCCL, Surat)

Tuesday, July 5: Last week, we saw the southwest monsoon extend its influence into the last few northwestern states, bringing much needed respite to the region a whopping six days ahead of schedule. While Eastern Rajasthan had already been relishing the wet weather over the past week as adjoining Gujarat witnessed scanty rainfall, an active monsoon phase might result in Gujarat having to endure some intense precipitation in the coming days.

According to forecasts by our weather.com met team, a trough over Rajasthan is likely to help dump large amounts of moisture (100-200 mm) from the Arabian Sea over Rajasthan and its adjoining areas till Saturday (July 9). This is of course further supplemented by strong westerly monsoon winds bringing heavy rainfall to the west coast throughout this week.

The team-up of these meteorological factors is likely to produce heavy rainfall in isolated parts of Rajasthan for the next five days. However, some intensification is also possible in this desert state, with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting very heavy rainfall from Wednesday to Saturday (July 6-9), which will likely subside in the western parts by Wednesday. The rest of the state will witness widespread rains accompanied by thunderstorms.

For Gujarat, heavy rainfall will lash isolated parts of the state for the next five days at least, with conditions likely to intensify into very heavy rains by Thursday (July 7), and extremely heavy rainfall over its southern areas on Friday (July 8).

Red Warning over Gujarat

In view of these predictions, the IMD has placed East Gujarat on a red warning for Tuesday (July 5), advising residents to ‘take action’. Meanwhile, Gujarat’s Saurashtra and Kutch subdivision will be on an orange alert (meaning ‘be prepared’).

While some momentary relief can be expected in the state on Wednesday (except in East Gujarat), the intensifying rains by the end of this week have put the entire region back on an orange alert from Friday to Saturday.

As for specific district-level warnings, these areas in Gujarat are on orange alerts and red warnings (RW) for the next few days:

July 5: Porbandar, Junagarh, Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Daman

July 8: Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Navsari, Valsad, Daman

July 9: Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Bharuch, Tapi, Dangs, Surat (RW), Navsari (RW), Valsad (RW), Daman (RW)

As for Rajasthan, an orange alert has been issued over the districts of Barmer on Friday, and over Barmer and Banswara on Saturday.

Three Day Precipitation Accumulation

(TWC Met Team)

Rajasthan and Gujarat experience extremely dry conditions for most of the year and rely on monsoon rains to supply up to 90% of the total rainfall over the region. This year, the monsoon has rolled into the area six days ahead of schedule, entering East Rajasthan last Friday while covering major parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat by Sunday (July 3), thus displaying good performance so far.

During the first monsoon month, weather systems above Rajasthan have graced the region with excesses to normal amounts of rain (46 mm of rainfall in West Rajasthan and 56 mm in East Rajasthan). However, Gujarat still remained somewhat parched. The eastern parts of the state only witnessed 128 mm of rain against the 175 it normally receives, while the western parts have received only 77 mm against the normal of 117 mm. This imparted a seasonal rainfall deficiency of about 50% to both areas of the state.

However, July has been a good month for the northwestern states so far, with Gujarat already rejoicing a rainfall excess of 36 in the Saurashtra and Kutch subdivision while the other parts witnessed 59% excesses. Rajasthan further topples that number, boasting grandiose precipitation excesses of 138 and 239% in its western and eastern regions this month, respectively. With the IMD predicting further intensification due to the development of a monsoon low-pressure area near these states, civil disruptions could however become more common over this week, especially towards the weekend.

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