IMD observes southward movement of weather phenomenon causing heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported on Tuesday that the monsoon trough, an elongated region of low pressure situated to the north of its usual position, has been the cause of intense rainfall over the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. This meteorological phenomenon has begun a gradual southward movement, shifting away from its original northern location.

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The monsoon trough currently stretches along the foothills of the Himalayas. According to the weather bureau’s bulletin on Tuesday, it is anticipated that the trough will slowly shift southwards and align closer to its normal position by August 18.

However, as of now, the trough has not completely reached its typical location, according to M Mohapatra, the director general of the Meteorological Department. This phenomenon is marked by a section of the monsoon trough positioned between Meerut and Delhi, resulting in rainfall over the Delhi National Capital Region and the eastern-central parts of India. This pattern is expected to persist for the next 1-2 days before the trough starts moving northward again around August 20.

Mahesh Palawat, the vice-president of climate and meteorology at Skymet Weather Services, a private forecasting agency, further explained that subsequent to this transition, heavy rainfall can be anticipated in the northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

In addition to the monsoon trough’s movement, the weather office noted the presence of a cyclonic circulation over southwest Bangladesh and its nearby areas, along with a western disturbance affecting the western Himalayas. These conditions contribute to the continuation of isolated yet substantial rainfall in Himachal Pradesh for the next two days. Likewise, Uttarakhand and northeast India are likely to experience heavy rainfall over the next 4-5 days, as cautioned by the weather office.

Tweeting on the matter, M Rajeevan, former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, mentioned that the current spell of monsoon disruption has become one of the lengthiest on record, already spanning 10 days and potentially extending for an additional 2-3 days. The most extended consecutive break spell on record was between July 18 and August 3 in 1972, during a deficient monsoon year.

The IMD stated that starting from Wednesday, there is a prospect of gradual upsurge in rainfall over the eastern and adjoining central parts of India. Simultaneously, subdued rainfall is expected to persist over the rest of the country for the next 4-5 days.

As of June 1, there is a 4% rainfall deficit across the country, with a 10% deficit in the southern peninsula. Over east and northeast India, there is an 18% deficit, while northwest India has experienced a surplus of 13% rainfall. Central India has received average levels of rainfall.

The heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand that led to tragic outcomes such as landslides, building collapses, and infrastructure damage on Monday are attributed to the northward motion of the monsoon trough and its interaction with a weak western disturbance.

Presently, the monsoon has entered a subdued phase, and the plains can expect limited rainfall due to the trough’s northward movement, which extends mostly over the Indo-Gangetic plains up to the Bay of Bengal, as previously reported by HT.

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