Man crosses a road in heavy rains

(Subhrajit Candra/ BCCL)

Monday, May 16: While the northeastern states have been experiencing rainfall activity for a while now, the rain spells received a major boost in terms of their strength and distribution last week due to the influence of Cyclone Asani. Now, it appears the region is unlikely to be spared by the rain gods anytime soon.

Forecasts by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) indicate that the intensified conditions will continue across Northeast India this week. Under the influence of strong and moist southwesterly winds blowing in from the Bay of Bengal, the following conditions are to be expected:

◉ Isolated heavy to very heavy rains over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim from Monday to Friday, May 16-20;

◉ Isolated extremely heavy falls over Meghalaya from Monday to Tuesday, May 16-17;

◉ Isolated heavy rains over Mizoram and Tripura from Monday to Tuesday, May 16-17.

Five days precipitation accumulation from Monday.

According to weather.com meteorologists, precipitation up to 50-80 mm/day is on the cards for the northeastern states this week, although parts of Assam and Meghalaya may experience rainfall in excess of 100 mm/day on Monday and Tuesday.

In view of these forecasts, the IMD has issued an orange alert over Sub Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh for Monday, so as to urge the locals to “be prepared” for the heavy rains, thunderstorms and lightning.

Moreover, yellow watches have been issued over Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura on the same day, to indicate the need to “be updated” about the inclement weather.

Meanwhile, these intense rainfall episodes have been lashing Northeast India, especially Assam and Meghalaya, since Saturday. In fact, the heavy downpours triggered flooding and landslides in Assam, even resulting in the loss of life and property.

Rainfall-related incidents have killed at least three people in Assam’s Dima Hasao district, while affecting nearly 57,000 people from 222 villages, according to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority. In addition, some 200 homes have been destroyed, while 10321.44 hectares of cultivated land remains swamped in flooding.

In the past 24 hours alone, several districts in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya have recorded more than 2 cm of rainfall, with Assam’s Majbat witnessing 7 cm. These recent precipitation figures are adding to the already above-average rainfall accumulation that is being recorded by the northeastern states this pre-monsoon season.

Between March 1 and May 15, the subdivisions of Sub Himalayan West Bengal-Sikkim (408 mm) and Assam-Meghalaya (634 mm) have both registered ‘excess’ rains worth 43% and 53% higher than their respective averages for this period.

Arunachal Pradesh (665 mm) and Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura (288 mm) accumulated normal rainfall, with the former witnessing only a 9% excess and the latter registering a 14% deficit so far this season.

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