Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
Outlook.com
climate

A Hope-Drenched Summer

An early monsoon gladdens hearts. But will it sustain long enough to beat the drought spectre?

A Hope-Drenched Summer
A Hope-Drenched Summer
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

To be sure, the early onset of rains is a trifle unusual. Meteorologists admit to a certain degree of unpredictability about this year's monsoon and the factors which have added to its vigour. For one, the blazing heat that usually scorches large swathes of north and central India in May and June was mostly subdued. As a result, the mercury, that normally soars to 45 degrees celsius in places like Delhi, Haryana and Punjab and even higher in Rajasthan and Gujarat, remained well below its average value during the peak summer season. Delhi best exemplified this variation from the normal: the city's average maximum temperature in May was a bearable 35.2 degrees celsius. More strikingly, no heat-waves were reported in the country. Also, almost all regions experienced a good amount of rainfall. Unlike the routine pre-monsoon thundershowers which are sporadic and unevenly scattered, the rainfall in the month of May was regular and well distributed.

Various theories are being propounded to explain this year's rather unusually pleasant summer. Most of them point to last month's cyclone in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast as the lucky trigger for 'bonus' rainfall all over the country. Meteorologists are holding forth on how the swirling disturbance, that took a northwestward detour while approaching Gujarat, led to the unexpected rainfall in May. Explains S.C. Gupta, director, India Meteorological Department (imd): "The cyclone that originated in the Arabian Sea off Gujarat's coast in the second half of May, acted as a catalyst and set the weather systems in motion. It not only lowered temperatures but also resulted in good rainfall. So, the cyclone weather system, that persisted for almost two weeks, followed by easterly winds from the Bay of Bengal and south-westerly winds, together led to a sustained cooler weather and also brought about rains."

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