Tuesday, October 4: East Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha are set for heavy rainfall activity for the next 2-3 days, with especially intense showers expected for the next 24 hours.
While the wet weather over East India has definitely been a buzzkill amid the Puja festivities, the rains made it clear that they had no immediate plans of leaving after their arrival last week. And now, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the following conditions will prevail over the eastern states in the coming days:
- Fairly widespread to widespread light or moderate rainfall with isolated heavy falls (64.5 mm-115.5 mm) over West Bengal and Jharkhand on Tuesday (October 4), Bihar on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 4-5) and Odisha from Tuesday to Thursday (October 4-6)
- Isolated very heavy rainfall (115.5 mm-204 mm) over Bihar, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha on Tuesday (October 4)
Given these forecasts, an orange alert (meaning ‘be prepared’) has been issued over Bihar, Sikkim, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Odisha, while a yellow watch (meaning ‘be updated) has been placed over Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal for Tuesday owing to the heavy rain forecasts. A yellow watch will also replace the orange alert over Odisha and Bihar on Wednesday.
All districts of Bihar and Jharkhand, including the capital cities of Patna and Ranchi, will remain on a yellow watch during this forecast period. Bihar’s East and West Champaran and Gopalganj districts will switch to an orange alert only for Wednesday.
Yellow watches have also been issued over Odisha’s Bhubaneswar, Ganjam, Puri, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Baleshwar, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Khordha, Nayagarh and Gajapathi districts, along with West Bengal’s Kolkata, Bankura, Barddhaman, Birbhum, Haora, Hooghly, Murshidabad, Nadia, North 24 Parganas, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur, Puruliya, South 24 Parganas and Cooch Behar districts for the next 24 hours. Other districts will fluctuate between being on yellow watch and no alert for the subsequent two days.
Multiple meteorological systems are responsible for the downpours set to lash East India in the next 48-72 hours. The first is a low-pressure area that lies over west-central Bay of Bengal off Andhra Pradesh coast and its neighbourhood, and is likely to move west-northwestwards towards Andhra Pradesh coast during the next 24 hours. Further, a trough runs from the cyclonic circulation associated with the above low-pressure area to Bangladesh in lower and middle tropospheric levels, creating the ideal conditions for rainy weather.
Meanwhile, lakhs of people braved the inclement weather and ventured out to visit the festival pandals in West Bengal and Odisha over the last few days. Traffic congestion and waterlogging inconvenienced office goers, but fortunately, no casualties have been reported.
Despite the torrential rains that the East Indian states have been battling, the region’s rainfall stats for the monsoon season seem to be largely unmoved. Between June 1 and September 30, West Bengal (1112 mm) and Odisha (1197 mm) recorded a slight deficit and excess of 17% and 4%, respectively. But Jharkhand (818 mm) and Bihar (683 mm) saw considerable deficits of 20% and 31%. Sikkim did manage to register 2000 mm, seeing an excess of 20%.
As for October so far, Jharkhand witnessed 14.2 mm of rain, registering an excess of 21%. Odisha (13.7 mm) and West Bengal (19.8 mm) saw ‘normal’ rains, with the former recording a slight deficit of 14% and the latter a slight excess of 4%. Bihar’s performance was the worst, as it recorded a meagre 0.6 mm — leaving it with a ‘large deficit’ of 93%.
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