Heavy rains lash Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

(Yogesh Chawda/BCCL Ahmedabad)

Friday, August 5: After a gap of nearly three weeks, intense monsoon activity is set to resume across Gujarat once again this week, with heavy showers on its horizon for the next five days.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated heavy falls, thunderstorms and lightning are all very likely over the Gujarat region from Friday to next Tuesday (August 5-9) and Saurashtra-Kutch from Saturday to Tuesday (August 6-9).

Furthermore, isolated to scattered very heavy showers may pound the entire state of Gujarat next Monday and Tuesday (August 8-9).

In view of these predictions, the IMD has issued a yellow watch (‘be aware’ of local weather situation) over Gujarat for this five-day forecast period; except for Monday, when the advisory has been upgraded to an orange alert (‘be prepared’ for rough weather).

Within the state, the IMD has placed rainfall alerts over the following districts:

Friday, August 5: Yellow watch over Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Banaskantha, Patan, Mahesana, Khera, Panchmahal, Dahod, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Tapi

Saturday, August 6: Yellow watch over Anand, Bharuch, Vadodara

Sunday, August 7: Yellow watch over Amreli, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Navsari, Valsad

Monday, August 8: Yellow watch over Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Surat, Tapi, Dangs, Navsari, Valsad

Tuesday, August 9: Orange alert for Amreli, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Navsari, Valsad; Yellow watch over Rajkot, Porbandar, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Surat, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Tapi, Dangs

It is important to note that these alerts may well change and upgrade depending on the local weather situation on the day.

Overall, these conditions will be caused by the combination of the monsoon trough that currently lies south of its normal position, and a low-pressure area that’s in the process of forming over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal. Both systems will influence the incursion of moist westerly winds from the Arabian Sea, which will dump precipitation over west and southwest India in this forecast period.

Before this intense rain spell, the previous bout of heavy downpours had lashed Gujarat back in mid-July, resulting in widespread flooding and destruction, the evacuation of at least 31,000 affected people, and the deaths of 14 individuals.

While no such flood alerts have been sounded this time around (so far), residents of the state must still maintain caution and avoid venturing into flood-prone areas during heavy rainfall episodes.

Meanwhile, since the beginning of the monsoon season, Gujarat has recorded 542.8 mm rainfall — a 34% excess compared to its long-term average for the period between June 1 and August 4 (406.1 mm). Both its subdivisions, viz. Gujarat region (664.7 mm) and Saurashtra-Kutch (449.2 mm), have also registered excess figures worth 27% and 43%, respectively.

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