Representational Image.

(Balish Ahuja/TOI, BCCL)

Thursday, July 14: Odisha and Chhattisgarh had begun the monsoon season on a low, with rainfall averages in the states remaining well below average until mid-June. However, the precipitation activity has seen a slow but steady improvement since the final week of June, which has brought both their rainfall stats back to the ‘normal’ range. Now, with more rain forecast in the coming days, the precipitation numbers for both states may soon touch the ‘excess’ mark.

Presently, a well-marked low pressure area, an east-west shear zone running through North Peninsular India, and the monsoon trough are all acting in tandem to produce rainfall activity over Central India and its adjoining regions, at least for the next five days.

Accordingly, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted the following weather conditions over Odisha and Chhattisgarh:

  • Fairly widespread to widespread light to moderate rains, thunderstorms and lightning with isolated heavy rainfall over Chhattisgarh and Odisha until next Monday, July 18
  • Isolated very heavy rain in Odisha from Thursday to Saturday (July 14-16) and Monday (July 18)
  • Isolated very heavy showers over Chhattisgarh from Saturday to Monday (July 16-18)

Furthermore, rainfall amounts exceeding 100 mm/day are possible in isolated areas of Odisha in the coming days, according to The Weather Channel’s meteorologists.

3-days precipitation accumulation from Thursday to Saturday. (TWC Met Team)

3-days precipitation accumulation from Thursday to Saturday.

(TWC Met Team)

In view of these forecasts, an orange alert has been issued across Odisha until next Monday and over Chhattisgarh from Saturday to Monday. This advisory urges locals to “be prepared” for the heavy rains, strong surface winds and other extreme conditions.

People have also been advised to be watchful of the weather situation and move to safer places to protect themselves from lightning strikes.

As for district-level alerts, the regional met centre has placed Odisha’s Nuapada, Baragarh, Balangir, Subarnapur and Bauda districts on orange alert for Thursday; Sundargarh, Kendujhar, Deogarh, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur for Friday; Baragarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Cuttack Angul, Dhenkanal and Jajpur for Saturday.

In Chhattisgarh, a red warning (meaning ‘take action’ to keep safe) has been issued over Bijapur and Sukma for Thursday, while orange alerts will be placed over Bastar, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Kanker, Balod and Rajnandgaon on the same day. Come Friday, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Balod and Rajnandgaon will be on orange alert.

Meanwhile, the heavy rains have been lashing Odisha all week, with the intense precipitation causing waterlogging in many districts of the state. Malkangiri and Kalahandi, in particular, were majorly inundated with rainwater. A landslide was also reported in the Gajapathi district, resulting in at least ten houses being damaged.

The rains haven’t spared Chhattisgarh either, with the southern parts of the state even experiencing flood-like conditions. Due to this, the NH 163 going to Nizamabad via Bijapur has been closed for the last five days while NH 30 from Uttarakhand to Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh via Bastar has been closed for two days. The situation in these roadways has worsened due to the backwater of the Godavari river coming into its tributary Shabari.

Overall, the recent rainfall episodes have led to both Odisha and Chhattisgarh recording ‘normal’ rains so far this season. Between June 1 and July 13, Odisha registered 317.6 mm of rainfall, only 5% lesser than its average for the period (334.4 mm). Chhattisgarh witnessed 357 mm precipitation in the same duration, 7% more than its average (332.9 mm).

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