File photo

(Yogesh Chawda/BCCL Ahmedabad)

Friday, July 8: After what has already been a wet week, the intense rainfall activity across Gujarat is all set to continue for the next five days, with heavy statewide showers on the horizon until next Tuesday, July 12.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), fairly widespread to widespread rainfall, thunderstorms and lightning, along with isolated heavy showers, are likely across Gujarat for the next five days.

Furthermore, isolated very heavy rains (115.5 mm-204 mm) are expected to drench the Gujarat subdivision from Friday to Monday (July 8-11) and the Saurashtra-Kutch subdivision on Friday and Saturday (July 8-9).

The rainfall activity over Saurashtra-Kutch will get more intense over the weekend, with isolated extremely heavy downpours (204 mm) on its horizon on Sunday and Monday (July 10-11).

In view of these predictions, the entirety of the state has been placed on an orange alert for the next five days, with the advisory urging residents to ‘be prepared’ for rough conditions. But some districts will also be under a red warning, which instructs the locals to ‘take action’ to keep safe from extreme weather.

The following alerts have been issued by the IMD’s regional met centre in Ahmedabad for this five-day forecast period (subjected to minor changes as the weather evolves):

  • Friday, July 8: Red warning over Navsari and Valsad; Orange alert over Surat, Tapi, Dangs, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Gir Somnath
  • Saturday, July 9: Orange alert over Porbandar, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Navsari, Valsad
  • Sunday, July 10: Orange alert over Surat, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Valsad
  • Monday, July 11: Red warning over Gir Somnath; Orange alert over Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Navsari, Valsad
  • Tuesday, July 12: Red warning over Kutch; Orange alert over Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Morbi, Dangs, Navsari, Valsad

These wet conditions will be caused due to the interaction between multiple meteorological factors that are currently in play: the monsoon trough being active and south of its normal position, a low-pressure area over south Pakistan and adjoining Kutch, an off-shore trough running from south Maharashtra coast to north Kerala coast, and more.

3-day rain accumulation from Friday to Sunday (TWC Met Team)

3-day rain forecast from Friday to Sunday

(TWC Met Team)

In fact, these intense rains have been ongoing since the start of this week. Even yesterday (Thursday, July 7), the IMD observed rainfall at many places in Saurashtra & Kutch and a few places in the Gujarat subdivision. The former also recorded heavy rainfall at isolated locations.

These heavy downpours led to flooding in many remote villages in the Gir Somnath district — the last abode of Asiatic lions. Low-lying villages like Matana, Lodhava, Singsar, Muldwarka and Malashram were cut off from the district headquarters, as per The Times of India. Roads got submerged, electric supply got cut, and traffic disruptions were reported on the national highways.

Many parts of Kutch also reported a heavy influx of water, with rising water levels creating flood-like situations in the Mandvi and Maska areas of the district.

With extremely heavy rains in forecast, localised flooding and landslides, waterlogging in low-lying areas, closure of underpasses, disruption of train and traffic movement, and damage to kutcha roads and vulnerable structures will all be genuine possibilities across the state.

Accordingly, the residents must avoid venturing outdoors if at all possible for the next three days. But if unavoidable, the IMD has advised following travel advisories, checking for traffic congestion well in advance, and avoiding areas prone to flooding.

Meanwhile, the recent wet spells have brought Gujarat’s seasonal rainfall figures closer to normal. Between June 1 and July 7, the state has registered 147.8 mm precipitation, which remains 10% below its long-term average of 164.8 mm.

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