Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 has been eventful,Weatherwise.Some of the "rare" and "Unusual"weather events,given below, that occured during the year 2006 may be of interest to some..Anyway,for me weather extremes keeps one aware of Nature's power and capacity.
A HEAVY storm with hailstones “the size of eggs‘‘ pounded the town of Indwe in the Chris Hani district,South Africa on 26th.Dec..The storm, which lasted for only five minutes, felled telephone poles and street lights, smashed window panes, and damaged vehicles. Some parts of the town still did not have electricity and telephone connections. Buildings affected included Indwe police station and the Emalahleni municipal offices.
“The extremely heavy downpour, accompanied by strong winds gusting at about 120km/h hit the area at about 2.05pm on Tuesday with hailstones the size of eggs." Such a storm had never happened in the area before. “This is VERY UNUSUAL – it was a FREAK."

Jerusalem and the West Bank saw RARE snowfalls on 27th.Dec. night. The extreme weather caused road accidents and several Bedouin were injured as tents collapsed. The Holy Land has seen its first heavy snowfalls since 2004, causing widespread disruption, blocked roads and several injuries. Eight centimeters (3 to 4 inches) of snow fell in Jerusalem.

This year, seven typhoons and seven strong tropical storms have hit the Chinese mainland, including Typhoon Saomai, the strongest typhoon to hit China since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, that claimed at least 460 lives. Both the intensity of the disaster weather and the damages caused were "RARE" in the country's history. This spring saw 18 sandstorms in northern China, a RECORD high since 2000

According to figures from the Met Office last month was the warmest September on record in the United Kingdom. The daily mean of 15.4C was 3.1C above the long-term average and smashed the previous record of 14.7C set in 1949. Night-time minimum temperatures proved to be significant with the average minimum across the country calculated at 11.5C, almost a degree above the previous record of 10.6C (1949). In July, the United Kingdom recorded its warmest ever month on record. The average daily temperature (day and night) was 17.8C with the average maximum temperature at 23.1C.

On 7th.Sept.torrential rain in Sydney (Australia) has re-written the record books, with the city experiencing its wettest September day in 123 years. Overnight there was 107mm at Observatory Hill .

Monsoon-related flooding continued across India during August. In Gujarat state, the city of Surat was embattled by flooding.Across the nation, 197 deaths were reported during August 1-9 with 574 deaths since the beginning of the monsoon season in mid-May 2006.

After a four-day heat wave in July, that saw a sharp spike in energy consumption, New York authorities shut down several subway lines over fears of power interruptions. Monday saw 36.6C at LaGuardia Airport - the highest temperature registered since records started being kept in 1948 - and one of the airport's main terminals had to be shut down Tuesday after the power went out.

Hot weather enveloped much of Europe during mid-July, with temperatures surpassing 32C. In Britain on the afternoon of the 19th, temperatures reached 36.5C at Wisley, or the hottest temperature ever recorded in Britain in July. Across Europe, at least 13 deaths were blamed on the heat in Spain, France and the Netherlands.In France , 38C was recorded in the south of the country while Parisians faced a sticky 36C.

Hawaii residents awoke to sun this weekend on 2nd.April,, after more than 40 days of downpours that left a wake of havoc across the islands and broke records for rain at the wettest place on Earth. About 94 inches of rain were recorded during March at Mount Waialeale, considered the rainiest spot on the planet. The previous monthly record was about 90 inches in April 1971, according to the National Weather Service.

In India, frost was observed in New Delhi for the first time in 70 years on 8th.Jan 2006, as cold air sweeping in from the Himalayas produced a low temperature of 0.2C. On January 16, 1935, Delhi reported -0.6C. There were 146 deaths blamed on cold weather in India since early December 2005. India’s Kashmiri Valley has seen temperatures plummet to -6.3°C, with reports of the Dal Lake freezing in Srinagar City

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Temperatures continue to be above normal throughout India,and Pakistan.As indicated in my last blog.The days are still to cool down and the nights are warmer than usual for this time of the year.The day time temperature map of today shows that the days are warmer throughout India with exceptional warm areas on the borders in the west.
The nights too are warmer than normal,as seen in todays minimum temperature map, in the North West and Central India.The only exception is the North East part and extreme South,where it is a little below the normal.
A "W.D." has just moved across the states of Punjab,J.K.,H.P. and western U.P.after crossing Pakistan.It is forecasted that this will cool the plains of northern and central india,including the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra in the next two days.A cold spell that may bring down the temperatures by 3-4°c in Maharashtra,from the current levels.

Down South,in the southern hemisphere, ,there has been some unusual weather around in parts of Australia this festive season, and bearing in mind that it is summer there at the moment, it just got weirder still.
Snow fell on Victoria’s Mount Buller and Tasmania’s Mount Wellington on Monday,bringing some Australians a white Christmas! In a country often noted for its beach-based Christmas Day barbeques, snow during the summer is not unprecedented, but is unusual.
Melbourne has had some very wierd and unstable weather!Melbourne had its hottest December day for 53 years on December 10th when the thermometer reached a sizzling 42.1C.This was followed more recently on December 22nd with the warmest December night in 45 years with a minimum temperature of just 27C .On Friday,22nd.,the cooling winds had dropped the temperature to just 19C and the thermometer continued to fall throughout the day, reaching a minimum of 10C.The change continued to be felt during Saturday,23rd. with the maximum temperature reaching 17C quite a significant change to the maximum of 37C achieved on Thursday 21st.
The vagaries of the weather !

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Much of Colorado was left paralysed yesterday as a major storm brought snow and blizzards, closing Denver International Airport.Up to 20inches was forecast to fall in Denver, with 2 feet or more in the foothills to the west.
On Tuesday the storm had made its way through New Mexico dumping up to a foot or more of snow over the higher ground.

Much of reeling as the minimum temperatures dropped.
Alamosa Municipal Airport (2299 m) -27°
Springfield (1335 m) -10°
Colorado Springs City (1881 m) -9°
Denver/Centennial Airport (1793 m) -9°
Telluride Regional Airport (2769 m) -9°
Trinidad Perry Stokes (1756 m) -8°
Denver Intl Airport (1656 m) -8°
Aurora Buckley AirForceBase (1726 m) -7°

In London too,thick fog is continuing to cause travel chaos.The D=day temperature in London was 1°c and the night-3°c.
The winter in the sub continent this year,as yet,a has been very moderate with the days still above normal,and nights just around normal with no severe cold waves..This trend seems to be all over,from the plains of N.India,thru Central and Western India.

This is because the rains from the W.D's this year have been largely confined to the hills of N.India.They have been evasive in the plains of Punjab,Haryana,U.P.and Rajasthan.

But as the frequency of the W.D.'s coming this year has been regular,it is hoped these systems stick to their schedule.The plus side is that there are no "blocking highs"in the path of the systems,hence more such W.D's can be expected in the remaing days of this month and next month.With this ,one can ensure low temperatures
to prevail along with some rain in the plains of north and central India.
Below is a list of some N.Indian cities with;










All the readings are as on 22Dec.and are above normal,except Srinagar.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


It seems like a long long wait for Mumbai. With winter just refusing to set in, the temperatures remain higher than normal. In fact, here is the surprise, the temperature on 14th.December,this year was 36°c, one of the highest ever recorded at Colaba in its 100 year history. 36°c is 5°c above the normal for this day. Subsequently for the next two days too were high, close to the record, at 34°c.
Now this is surely some sort of a heat spell in December!

Mumbai had only a very brief period, from 8th to 12th when the temperatures actually fell to below normal. Other than those few days, it has remained a warmer than usual December. The first diagram shown illustrates this clearly and the third diagram shows the actual temperatures.

Now compare this with December 2005! The minimum (third diagram), has gone down to almost 11°c! And the blue area in the first diagram is so much more pronounced.

Mumbai has seen some pleasant Decembers in the past. The lowest on record for December at Colaba is 12.8° and at Santa Cruz 10.6°. To reach this level during this year seems impossible.
Already, the heaviest rain in years has fallen in the Gulf region, the result being flow of water in long-dry stream and flooding.
Another big storm has already reached the gulf,and the effect of rain and thunderstorms are set to become widespread Saturday from Saudi Arabia to the middle and northern Gulf and the Gulf states of Kuwayt, Bahrain and Qatar. Two countries Oman and United Arab Emirates, will be on the edge of this storm's heaviest output. U.A.E.will get moderate rain Sunday/Monday and Oman some rain during the same period.

The storm is likely to move east and then pour rain/snow over N.Pakistan by Tuesday/Wednessday and N.India by Wednessday(20th.).

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A renewed spell of rain is headed for southeastern India (northern Tamil Nadu, southern Andhra Pradesh) this weekend -Saturday night and early Sunday. This is much needed after an unusually long dry spell in the midst of the N.E.Monsoon.

Another storm will begin to trigger rains over northwestern Gulf area on Monday into Tuesday. Downpours and thunderstorms are possible in UAE and northern most Oman on Tuesday. Muscat may also get some rain on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, night temperatures have fallen to some extent(though they have now reached normal levels)in North India and Gujarat/Maharashtra region.on the 9th, Amritsar was the lowest in the plains at 4° and Delhi touched 7°. Elswhere in Maharashtra, Nasik and Pune were at 12°. The nights are expected to get much colder in the North after the crossing of the storm coming in from the west. Effectively it should reach 3-5° below normal in the North and Maharashtra from next week.

This map shows the current minimum temperature overall picture of Asia. The yellow area shows temperatures in the range of 15-20° and the green area between 5-10°. The blue is below freezing the purple -10 to -20° and the grey area the coldest, below -20°. Just to know how cold that is, the coldest place in the northern most area of Russia(in the Artic Circle) yesterday was Ojmjakon at -49°.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

ALIGNMENT OF PLANETS: On Dec. 8th through 11th, Jupiter, Mercury and Mars will form a tight triangle in the eastern sky at dawn. All three will fit together in the field of view of ordinary binoculars. (Mars is dim enough that binoculars may be required to see it.) Of special note is the morning of Dec. 10th when Jupiter and Mercury converge within 0.25 degrees of one another. The close, bright pair will be visible to the unaided eye--a fabulous sight in the rosy glow of sunrise.
Finally, a good reason to wake up early!

Best of Luck !

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Last week I had mentioned the storm appraoching from the west,and the result was a fairly good amount of rain and snow stretching from Arabia to India.Places in Arabia got fairly good amounts of rain,and Sharjah getting 67mm is unusual,with various places in U.A.E and Oman getting between 70-90mm of rain,equal to their year's quota.Muscat had heavy downpours too.In Pakistan,rainfall was exceptionally heavy in Islamabad(102mm)in the North,and Karachi getting 67mm,against a normal of 4mm in December.Heavy snow has blanketed the mountains of Kashmir and H.P.

Well,its not over yet.Another low pressure system,milder than the previous one,is tracking along westwards.It is likely to produce moderate(not too heavy)rain in the Friday.Muscat will be mostly cloudy by Friday.This system will approach Pakistan/India by the 10th.and again produce fairly good rainfall.As the system is less intense than the previous one,the rain may be restricted to the areas north of Sindh in Pakistan,and north of Rajasthan in India.

Maharashtra(and Mumbai),will get colder weather from the weekend.Mumbai should see temperatures falling slightly to 18°and the interiors will have sharper fall in temperature(Pune and Mahableshwar maybe 10°)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The trough of low off the west coast has again resulted in some rain in the Ghats.Mahableshwar had 20mm of rain today and Pune 3mm.This isolated rain and cloudiness has sent the night temperatures well above the normal.
In the North,that is Afghanistan,Pakistan and N.India,a strong likely to result in heavy snow over the mountains and heavy rain in the plains from Saturday.As Jim mentions,the strong system is likely to result in rain even on the Makran Coast and the rains will move into India by Monday.The weather over the region will warm up a bit,prior to the system,and subsequently the weather will get cold.

For Gujarat and Maharashtra region,the weather will get cold by next week,with North winds effectively cooling the area.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In South India,the N.E.Monsoon is playing truant,and very few isolated showers are being recorded.In fact the seasonal rains down south have almost dried out,and the natural rhythm of the Monsoon has vanished.This is because the ITCZ is too far down south of its normal position,and lies aligned to the equator.Forecasters are looking to the presently active storm in the Pacific,"Durian",to trigger some activity in the Bay.But this is still 6-7 days away.The remnant low will cross the Vietnam coast around 4th.December,and hopefully push a low in the Andaman Sea around the 7th.,after which it will have to be watched.

Meanwhile,to the west,an active system is approaching the the Gulf area.It is likely to cause cloudy weather over the Northern Gulf area from 29th.November,with rain in Dubai(maybe thunder)on 2nd.and 3rd.December(Saturday/Sunday).Lower down,Muscat will see cloudy weather from Wednessday,and some rain on Saturday.Temperatures will remain cool at 28°,and a shade cooler on the weekend in Muscat,around 26-27°.But the Khassab region will get heavier rain on the weekend.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The passing of the W.D. from N.India has at last brought the cold weather,to the Northern parts of the sub continent.Temperatures have dropped in most parts of the North(Islamabad 4°,Amritsar 8°,Delhi going down,finally,to 11°).Night readings are lower now in the Sind area of Pakistan with Nokkundi dropping to 3°,and are expected to fall further in adjoining Rajasthan.This year's first snowfall was reported from Gulmarg and other tourist areas of Kashmir and from Kufri near Simla.

Maharashtra has again reverted back to stuffy weather due to the clouding effect of the Arabian Sea system.Jet streams in the upper atmosphere have pushed in a lot of clouds over Maharashtra,resulting in rain(yet again)in Pune,Nasik,Aurangabad and Mahableshwar.

Next week,the Norhtern parts of the Gulf area is expected to get isolated rain,thereby causing the temperatures to drop.Muscat may see a fall in night temperatures from next week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Since I am fond of birds and ornithology,I found this event,which I read in the BBC News,very interesting.Also connected with the weather,so even more fascinating.

More than 1,500 people descended on a Devon coastal spot last weekend it was to catch a glimpse of a seabird that is more typically seen in parts of Asia. The birdwatchers are in the news again, after descending on the seaside village of Dawlish in Devon, where a long-billed murrelet had been spotted for the first time in Britain.Some undertook awfully long trip just to spy a feathered creature that, on a murky day, might be mistaken by a non-expert for a sea gull.And this also means tuning into changes - and seeing the evidence of climate change. Little egrets, once a rarity in U.K., are "here every day now. It must be to do with the weather, there's no way round it".

Some common terms for a birder are like when anyone suspected of over-stating their "conquests" is known in the trade as a "stringer."

Anyone who travels to see a bird which refuses to show itself, has been "dipping". Mr Vaughan once spent a fruitless eight hours, waiting for a "no show".

But there are not too many youngsters in the field now.What are they missing? Asks
Mr Vaughan who works at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' latest venture.
"There are those moments... like it's 5am and you're listening to a dawn chorus and it feels like you've got it all to yourself.

"Or you might have got up really early and been waiting for hours and then 40,000 birds fly overhead together. You get that same kick that means you just say 'wow' and start to laugh."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The off-shore trough prevailing in the Arabian Sea has suddenly formed into a low pressure area.This will result in rain in the areas of Ratnagiri,Solapur,Kolhapur,Satara,Sangli and some light rain over the Mumbai area by Sunday night.Rain will be more heavy and widespread over the South coast and Lakshdweep islands.This should be short lived,as the low will move away fast.

Resultantly,the night temperatures which had started dropping over Maharashtra and Mumbai,will rise for a few days.But overall temperatures continue to be above normal over most of India.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Minita from Muscat has asked me to write about the weather expected there. Well, as Minita correctly says, the weather has been persistently hot in Muscat. The first graph of the maximum temperatures of the last one month shows the temperature hovering around 34°c almost daily, with a couple of exceptions, when it went above 38°c. The heat has pulled on a little longer than usual.

But there seems to be a little relief from Saturday 18th, and you may see some cloudiness from Saturday and the temperatures will go down, marginally, to 30°c- 31°c.That means it will come to normal levels. But that will prove some sort of relief at least. The last few years have not seen above normal temperatures, and had been around 29°c-31°c during this period in Muscat.

Another interesting event coming up is that On Sunday, Nov. 19th, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. The result: a shower of Leonid meteors. "We expect an outburst of more than 100 Leonids per hour," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL. Cooke urges observers to find the darkest possible skies. "These Leonids are going to be faint." Why? "The stream contains very small grains of comet dust. Small grains make faint meteors--it's as simple as that."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Todays write up is in continuation with yesterdays topic. Now that the W.D. mentioned yesterday has moved into N.India, the Northern region has registered a rise in night temperatures today. They were above normal by 5°- 8°c.While, with the clearing of the skies over Maharashtra and the region around, the night temperatures have fallen. This is clearly shown in the annomaly map today.

Another interesting, but unrelated story is the closing in of the 4 inner planets near the sun today. Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Mercury are all crowded around the sun this weekend. The great conjunction is invisible to the human eye (too much sunlight), but SOHO can see it, so please visit .
Todays write up is in continuation with yesterdays topic. Now that the W.D. mentioned yesterday has moved into N.India, the Northern region has registered a rise in night temperatures today. They were above normal by 5°- 8°c.While, with the clearing of the skies over Maharashtra and the region around, the night temperatures have fallen. This is clearly shown in the annomaly map today.

Another interesting, but unrelated story is the closing in of the 4 inner planets near the sun today. Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Mercury are all crowded around the sun this weekend. The great conjunction is invisible to the human eye (too much sunlight), but SOHO can see it, so please visit .

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Well after the monsoon had widhrawn from the Indian peninsular, sporadic rainfall activity continued throughout regions of Maharashtra, Goa, South Gujarat, parts of M.P.and northern areas of Karnatak. (Areas south of the mentioned regions normally get the N.E.Monsoon rains.) These post monsoon rains continued upto 8th November. The latest rain was on the 8th when (in Shiraz's words) Mahableshwar had "violent thunderstorms, most unseason like" and recorded 25mm of rain. During the month of October, and upto 8th November, Mahableshwar had 245mms of rain, Pune 75mm, Aurangabad 142mm, much more than expected, for the post monsoon period. Post monsoon rains, which have lingered on much beyond expectations, and have delayed the setting in of winter in these parts. Temperatures have been above normal, and night temperatures have not fallen below 17°c, in the interior parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and M.P., where they are normally expected to be 12°c by this time.
Even in the north, the non-arrival of the W.D. has delayed the winter, and temperatures tell the same story there as seen in the temperature map.

But, as on 11th.November, a fairly good W.D. seems to be moving into N.India, and this has already pushed the moist rain belt hanging over the Peninsular southwards. A look at the satellite image of the 11th afternoon clearly shows this. Now that the rain has been pushed south by the drier air, one can expect that the rains have finally given way to colder and drier air for the western and central India. The W.D. will also precipitate the much needed winter rains over Norhtern India from Monday. (It has aleady rained over Pakistan).

Monday, November 06, 2006

Way into the second week of November,and the temperatures in India and Pakistan still show no sign of dropping,even to the normal level.Infact,the day and night temperatures remain above normal even at night as shown in the map.High abnormal temperatures of upto +5 degrees are obseved at many stations in Rajasthan,Gujarat and Maharashtra at night and upto +2 degrees at alomost all stations in the day.

In fact usually dry weather is now expected in Goa,Maharashtra and M.P,but these regions seem to have an extended weak monsoon.Sporadic rain has been seen at regular intervals of 3-5 days from mid October till date.In fact the heaviest rain of 78 mms in a day was at Kolhapur yesterday.Mahableshwar too has had no break since the widhrawal of the monsoon and has recorded 55mms post monsoon.Mumbai had a sudden thunderstorm yesterday(8mm) with the outer surburbs(Ulhasnagar)reporting hail.Many places on the ghats are reporting rain since thew last 2 weeks,thus making it a far too extended rainy season this year.

Troughs of low in the Arabian Sea,and the depression from the bay,has kept the season busy above the Northern limit of the normal winter monsoon,into Maharashtra and parts of M.P.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

With a warm October over, and above normal temperatures in the Indian sub continent,the trend continues in the first few days of November.The night temperatures are 3-5°c above the normal in most parts of north and central India.Due to the prevailing easterlies and absence of northly winds,the above normal tendency continues.Scattered rain in Goa.South Maharashtra,Marathwada and North Karnatak have added to the humidity in recent days.Pune and Mahableshwar had 10mm of rain yesterday,while centres in Goa and Aurangabad had about 2-10mms.

But like an extended summer here,we have an extended winter exactly below in the Southern Indian Ocean.In Australia, snow reportedly fell in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. In the Australian Capital Territory.Canberra was also expecting a flurry of snow on Sunday.The minimum temperature recorded in Canberra on Saturday night was a chilly -1°C (30°F), and a frost is also forecast for the city on Sunday night.
Also,residents in Bicheno, on Tasmania’s east coast, got up early to see the snow falling on Saturday, after reportedly not seeing a flake since 1972. With a chilly southwesterly wind, temperatures dipped to 2°C (36°F) overnight, compared to an average of 8-10°C (46-50°F) at this time of year.

Weather should change to normal very soon in both the hemispheres.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The deep depression mentioned,progressed to the status of a cyclone(Ogni),and crossed the Andhra coast on Monday.But it has not progressed or moved much inland,due to the domineering upper westerly trough which did not allow it to move inland.In fact the sytem has already weakened.But the rain belt has moved away northwards.
Except for the IMD,no major international weather models has acknowledged the cyclone or registered it.This is because it has developed too near the coast,in fact "half over water and half over land".Only the cyclones with the required speed and intensity over international waters are likely to get the attention.

But the sytem has rained heavily over coastal Andhra,with Machlipatanam getting a day.

Scattered rain was also recorded in intereior Andhra and interior Maharashtra today.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

After pouring heavy rain over the Tamil Nadu coast,these rains will possibly move a little north.A deep depression that has formed off the Andhra Coast is likely to cross the coast of Andhra by Monday,and as a result bring heavy rain to Andhra,and later to interior Maharashtra.Areas of South Madhya Maharahtra and Marathwada will get some showers from Tuesday,and Mumbai also may see some rain in the next 48 hrs.

This will result in more sultry weather for Mumbai in the next 48 hrs.As a result,the night temperatures which had just started to drop in the Pune,Nasik,Aurangabad and M.P.region,will rise again,at least for a few days.

Another system seems to be forming in the S.Arabian Sea.It has to be observed,and the movement and development speed to be observed.

Both the above systems are formed as the ITCZ moves southwards seasonally.

Temperature wise,no sharp falls or abnormal temperatures recorded in the sub continent except for the severe heat in Mumbai,mentioned last week.The first below zero temperature of the season in the mid hills or plains(outside the higher reaches of Kashmir and H.P.),was -1.7°c at Kalpa(H.P.)recorded on 24th.October.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

For those who had decided to go to the hills for the Divali vacations,it was certainly a good choice.Divali day,Sunday 22nd.October was certainly a very hot day in Mumbai.It was second only to Hyderabad(Pakistan),in the entire sub continent region.Hyderabad(Pakistan)was 37°c,and Mumbai(Santacruz),Ahmedabad and Baroda were 36°c on Sunday.

The delay in the setting in of the westerly sea breeze is the cause of the heat in Mumbai.The winds were expected to change with the westward movement of the ongoing W.D.Otherwise,with the moving away,temperatures have fallen by about 2-3°c in the North of Pakistan and India,thus being normal to 1°c below normal.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

ORIONID METEOR SHOWER: This weekend, a mild but pretty flurry of meteors will shoot out of the constellation Orion. The source is Halley's Comet. Although the comet itself is far away, ancient clouds of dust from the comet are nearby, and Earth is about to run through them. The best time to look is Saturday morning, Oct. 21st. Dozens of meteors might streak across the sky during the hours before sunrise. Dark skies are recommended!

If interested in more details,check at spaceweather.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

With the monsoon gone, the winds have immedietly changed direction and are now, blowing from the north east, almost throughout the central parts of India.
The city of Mumbai has suddenly started heating up, taking the locals by surprise. This is due to the total absence of the westerly sea breeze which has kept the city cool for the last 5 months. Easterlies are now blowing over the city and thus keeping the temperatures high. This is expected to reverse in another 2 days,and temperatures are expected to fall in North India,Gujarat and North Maharashtra.In the picture above,notice the sudden rise in the temperature from 11th October,the day the rains stopped in Mumbai.
The South West Monsoon has been formally been announced as widhrawn from the sub continent as on 17th October. Overall, it was -1% for the country as a whole and excess in the central parts. Parts of the extreme south and North East were in the deficit.
I agree with Jim's blog of yesterday, that there are many factors that have a bearing on the final performance of the South West Monsoon. Starting with the temperatures of March in India to the sea temperatures off the coast of Sudan, a variety of parameters have been proved to have an effect on the rains. The building up of the heat low, and its timing have an important bearing on the time of arrival of the monsoon. Another far away factor, in fact the initial, is the cooling of the Southern Indian Ocean between Africa and Australia, to create the"high" there and shoot off the trade winds towards the equator. I think maybe we should leave this discussion for the next season.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The W.D. I mentioned yesterday is quite active in the higher reaches and the Northern areas. The Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra district, Rohtang Pass, Saptrishi ranges and other peaks in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district and Saach Pass in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh had a spell of intermittent snowfall, creating cold wave conditions in the region.Dharamsala and its adjoining areas received intermittent rains accompanied by strong winds while Dhauladhar ranges overlooking the Kangra valley, had snowfall since yesterday, the met department said.
The Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft) had moderate snowfall for second day on Saturday and 10 cm of fresh snow had accumulated on the pass till this evening.Shimla and its surrounding areas were lashed by icy winds, making people shiver during the evening hours.(Report from T.O.I.).

Reports from Pakistan also speak of a heavy and violent dust storm in Lahore,with 100kmph. winds.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Having pushed the South West monsoon down,the first W.D. of the winter has immiedietly arrived over the northern areas of Pakistan and India.The system is moderate and has poured fairly good amounts of rain over Pakistan today.Rawalpindi 43mm and other stations between 20-40mm.Srinagar had a cloudy day and the day temperature dropped from yesterdays 27° to 17° (-5°c below normal) today.Early arrival of a moderate W.D. will bring in the cooler climes to the Northern parts of the sub continent and drier air will push down over central India.

Meanwhile the rain figures for the monsoon season for some Maharashtra cities (with last years rain in brackets) are:

Mumbai Colaba: 2377mm (2316mm),Santacruz:3030mm (3321mm),Pune:1151mm (1260mm),Mahableshwar:8478mm (8628mm).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Now, with the anticyclone well placed over the North and the west, it seems the monsoon has finally moved out and widhrawn from the peninsular, at least from above the 15°N. I say it seems as the IMD has not officially widhrawn the monsoon from below the 20°N. till 12th October. From my personal jottings, I read that one of the later dates of monsoon widhrawal for Mumbai, in the recent past was 17th October in 1983.

For the month of October, Mumbai (Colaba) has had 246mm of rain and Santacruz 200mm as on date. However, for the rcords, the wettest October for Colaba was in 1917, when the month had 507 mm.

With the monsoon now over from the major portion of North and central India, the temperatures are rising due to the absence of W.D. and cooler winds from the North West. Temperatures in most parts of India, except the South, are 3-5°c above normal. See map.

Also, most of the sub continent is quite (after4 months), and will remain so for a week at least, before the winter rains start in the south. There may be some precipitation in the extreme north due to the W.D. now over the middle east.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The off shore trough along the west coast persists,and continues to produce some pockets of heavy rain along the coast ,measuring 4-6cms,along the west coast,upto Mumbai.Mumbai had a a drizzle today morning with thunder and lightning.This trough will remain for another 24 hrs. before the anticyclone pushes down and drives the South West Monsoon away.The South West Monsoon has widhdrawn upto 20°N as on 9th.October.The North East Monsoon will then set in,as indicated by a few models.It is likely to set in by 14th./15th.
Just like a busy Pacific season had a favourable impact on the South West Monsoon,the development of the El Nino effect is to be watched on the Winter Monsoon in South India.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The persistant remnant of 05B in the Arabian Sea has finally dissoved and is now converted to a trough of low presurre off the west coast.The trough should be active for another day or two and precipitate more rain in interior Maharashtra and may keep the widhrawal on hold for a couple of days. No major weather development may take place in the regions of Maharashtra,Gujarat and the central peninsular from the 9th.,resulting in the widhrawal of the monsoon.The developing low in the bay,will then move towards the South India coast and commence the North East Monsoon.

As mentioned,the temperatures in the areas devoid of the monsoon are high for this time with Turbat in Pakistan going to 44°c today,and Ganganagar in Rajasthan at 41°c.However the minimums are 1-2°c above the normal.

An interesting development is the returning trend of the El Nino.
NASA satellites indicate El Nino has returned to the tropical Pacific Ocean, although in a relatively weak condition that may not persist.
During the past several weeks, satellites have observed a general warming of ocean temperatures. However it still weak and the progress has to be monitored.

Friday, October 06, 2006

With the monsoon still hovering over peninsular India, the advent of winter conditions seem to be somewhat halted, at least in Northern most parts of India and North West India. The day temperatures are above normal over the northern parts as is apparent from this map. The maximum temperatures elsewhere in Middle east are also still high with Makkah at 43°c, Sharjah and Nawabshah at 42°c and Muscat Airport and Dubai at 41°c. With the advent of a W.D. (not yet in formation), the winter temperatures may start falling. Daytime highs in Pakistan and India are 41° to 40° at their highest now.

Elsewhere in U.K. the scene is similar, with above normal temperatures. An interesting write up in the BBC on 3rd, produced below, says it all.
"Two countries on opposite sides of the world have experienced the warmest September for almost a century. Both the UK and parts of Australia have been basking in unseasonably warm weather, with temperatures several degrees above the average. Some western parts of Victoria, Australia, have recorded the warmest September since 1907. In Horsham the average maximum temperature for September worked out to be 20.4C (69F), almost 3C above what it should be in September. This is also just 0.5C below the all time record for the warmest September, which was 20.9C in 1907. Temperature records have also been smashed here in the UK. September 2006 has proved to be the warmest September since records began. Both day-time and night-time temperatures averaged out at 15.4C (60F), which is 3.1C above the long term average. This smashed the previous record of 14.7C (58F), which was set in 1949. Night-time minimum temperatures were the main contributor to this record breaker. The average minimum temperature across the UK calculated to be 11.5C (53F), which is almost 1C above the previous record of 10.6C (51F), also set in 1949. This record breaking month follows ‘hot’ on the heels of the all-time warmest month on record, which was July 2006. The average daily temperature (both day and night) was 17.8C (64F), and the average maximum temperature was 23.1C (74F)."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

October began damp and unexpectedly wet for coastal Mahatashtra,and specially Mumbai.The depression 05B fizzled out over interior Maharashtra,but not before dumping record rains over Mumbai.

For Mumbai,the of October was wet,thundery and squally.High velocity NorthWesterly gusts swept the city,(anti clockwise movement of the system),and with extremely violent thunder and lightening,the parting monsoon was unleashing all its energy over the city.

On the 1st.,between 08.30hrs. and 20.30hrs.,the city had recorded 81mm and between 20.30hrs. and 08.30hrs. of the 2nd. Mumbai recorded another 114mm.So in the 24hr. period of recording, Mumbai had 194.4mm of rain.This is a record for Mumbai for a 24 hr.period for October.The previous record was way back on 5th.October 1917,when 148.6mm of rain was measured.This is against an average of 65mm expected in October.And all this on the first day of the month.

Coastal areas too had heavy rain.The Maharashtra weather report for 2nd.October gives the rain figures of the other places.Note that the first 10 places mentioned in the rainfall list are on the west coast.

With the system waning now,the monsoon too may start loosing intensity.But there is an odd chance of another system developing in the Bay.It has to be watched initially,though it is likely to move North.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The month of September over and the rain fall figures are back to normal for the country as a whole. The monsoon has withdrawn from the North and North West only. And West U.P., Haryana, Delhi and the N.East top the rain deficit list. Rest of India is excess or normal. There is an odd chance for the N.East to recover if a low from the Bay recurves and drifts North.

With the Monsoon still active in Maharshtra, the figures are: Mumbai Colaba 2131mm(+106), Santa Cruz 2830 mm (+566), Mahableshwar 8316 mm (+2735), Pune 1104 mm (+550).

With another low expected in the bay by 4th.Oct, we will have to watch its movement to forecast its strenght and course. Only hint we have is that the sea temperature of the bay is now moderate, and is seen here.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

With 05B depression trooping in westward,I feel that Mumbai will once again get some rain Sunday through Tuesday.The forecasts show good rain along the pathe from M.P. to interiorMaharashtra and S.Gujarat coast and scatterd in Saurashtra.The system will weaken fast in land.This late season rain may not be in excess of 10 cms. that too in in some places.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To continue from my last writing, the expected low over the bay has formed today. But with a weakening wind shear, I have my doubts whether the low will gain much strength. It develops near the 20 line and may move inland and weaken fast. The high pressure anticyclone is also pushing in now from the north and pulling the ITCZ southwards. This withdraws the monsoon currents and the monsoon has started retreating southwards. According to the IMD, the monsoon has moved away from Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Maharashtra may only get a stray thundershower or two before the monsoon finally moves out by the end of the week.

But for the east coast next week, maybe near Tamil Nadu, we still have to watch the New typhoon "Xangsane" now in full strength over the Phillipines. For its full magnitude see Jim's blog of the 27th.

Mumbai, we have only a shower or two to come, before the monsoon withdraws by the end of the week. And then brace up for the October heat!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yes,Ashokbhai,I agree with your comments.The Cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea,will dissipate over water within 24-48hrs. The storm turned out to be something of a non starter.After being stationary over the Sea at 19.5Nand 66.5E for almost 3 days,and keeping the meterologist guessing,it has now taken a steady course of slowing down and maybe not stricking land at all.

On the other side of the African continent,somewhat weather history has been created by tropical storm Gordon.Gordon was a Category 1 hurricane when it moved through the Azores Islands in the Atlantic.It remained a category one storm while it headed into the Azores. Rarely does a hurricane stay a hurricane and cross that region of the far eastern Atlantic. Last year, Tropical Storm Vince was the first tropical cyclone in weather history to ever hit the Iberian Peninsula, which includes the nations of Spain and Portugal.

Well, here it seems the strong bay depression will also weaken now,though after causing heavy rain and damage to the eastern states of India.Rain between 11cms-17cms. has been recorded yesterday in several places of Jharkahand and W.Bengal.

We may still have to keep a watch on 17w off the Vietnam coast.It can come as a pulse and become a strong depression in the bay soon next week.

In the mean while,with the threat of "Mukda"waning,the hit or miss thundershowers will take place in some places of Maharashtra and Gujarat region and rain gradually reducing and withdrawing from Rajasthan and Kutch.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Indian peninsular is covered on both sides by low pressure systems.To the east the depression has today stationed itself over Jharkhand and adjoining West Bengal. It has caused heavy rain and flooding in W.Bengal and Bangladesh. The depression may move in a North Westerly direction through Jharkhand,Chatisgarh and East M.P.By then,it may curve northwards,if the low in the Arabian Sea is to move North East.All along it will produce heavy rain,but may leave the rain in Gujarat and Maharashtra to the Arabian Sea low.

Now, the other low in the East Central Arabian Sea is today off the Saurashtra coast.The IMD and another model expect it to move North East,that is towards Gujarat.Saurashtra coast has recieved good rain in the last 24 hrs. with Ranavav getting 9cms. and Porbunder 7cms. among others getting between 3-6cms.That is because the anti clockwise winds of the system are now covering a part of Saurashtra.The core of the low is at present producing very heavy rain and may move faster than the bay depression.The next 24hrs. will show its ultimate intention.If it gains strenght,then the two states of Guarat and Maharashtra will get heavy rains,specially along the coast.

This development has again delayed the withdrawal process of the monsoon.Temperatures in Rajasthan and Kutch are still not high to form the high pressure ridge.

The two systems from the bay are the remnants of the busy West Pacific,still producing severe typhoons.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The sudden formation of an embedded low in the Arabian Sea off the N.Maharastra- S.Gujarat coast, rain activity has suddenly increased in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Areas recieved between 5 to 9 cms of rain. The sudden formation of the low in the trough running along the west coast has also resulted in the creation of an east west shear zone running along 19° due to the low in the bay off the A.P. coast. The low in the bay has now become well marked and is expected to move inland .

A notable feature was the remarkable and extreme variation of rain within Mumbai. Different locations in Mumbai, from North to South, within a range of 35kms., recorded heavy rain in a short peroid between 5.30pm. and 7.00pm.-Bhandup:80mm, Tulsi lake:75mm, Borivali:62mm, Malad:39mm, Santa cruz:24mm, Colaba:1mm. The variation was a very clear example of micro weather over urban areas. That is the formation of huge rising thunder clouds over urban areas due to urban uneven heating and precipitating more rain in spurts.

The seasonal anticyclone has also formed over Rajasthan, thus resulting in the drier air settling down over the area and resulting in the reversal of the monsoon winds. However the monitoring of the two lows is important now, and the winds feeding the low are gaining ground over the peninsular area. Hence, rains will gradully increase in A.P. and all over Maharastra soon. Gujarat may see a decrease in rains in a day.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The monsoon may show signs of widhrawing from the extreme west of Rajasthan, maybe from Monday 11th Sept. Signs of withdrawal means the formation of a high pressure area which will bring dry air down (in a low pressure air rises up). This is delayed as the last persisting low had left moisture in the region (see picture). In fact, even today, there was rain across in Pakistan in Chor, Karachi and Jacobabad and in scattered places in Rajasthan (Bikaner had 30mm). The seasonal high will not settle until the moisture rains out, and may take two days as the days are getting hot.

The rain over India as a whole is exactly normal. But we still have September rains to change the figures. Except the north east, the rain is excess or normal elsewhere. See map.

A new low is expected to form in the bay around Monday near the TamilNadu coast. But if there is stressed moisture inland, it may not move too much.

Jim Andrews mentioned about the unexpected longevity and capacity of the previous low. It surely beat all forecasters, but all good meteorologists expect the weather to beat them sometimes. As an expert only studies the weather, not control it. So Jim, man proposes, God disposes!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The bay has been churning up a depression this year at the rate of one per week since July.Every one of them has caused heavy to very heavy rain along its path.Rainfalls in the range of 250mm has occurred.Ratnagiri had an extremely heavy pre monsoon downpuor of 647mm in a day in the last week of May,and desert areas have recieved rains upto 150-200mm in a day.

Now,why I mention these statistics is because this trend of heavy rain was recorded in U.K. too as per the article in "The Sunday Times" of 3rd.Sept. which I reproduce below. I am sure it would interest my readers .

"The Sunday Times
September 03, 2006

Britain gets a monsoon forecast: Jonathan Milne,

BRITAIN’S gentle drizzle is giving way to tropical-style downpours and cloudbursts as accelerating climate change disrupts weather systems, according to academic research.
Rainstorms have doubled in intensity in parts of the country and are becoming more concentrated in autumn, threatening the nation’s flood defences.

“Extreme rainfall” events, associated with the onset of climate change, are occurring almost a century earlier than had previously been predicted.
Some parts of Britain are now regularly seeing almost a foot of rain over 10 days. The worst affected area is the east of Scotland, which has experienced a 72% increase in the ferocity of rainstorms over the last 40 years.
Other regions which have experienced a substantial change in rainfall patterns are the northeast and northwest of England.

“Extreme rainfall has doubled over parts of the UK since the 1960s,” said Dr Hayley Fowler, senior research associate at the school of civil engineering and geosciences at Newcastle University. “Intensities previously experienced every 25 years now occur at six-year intervals. There have also been changes in timing, with extreme events now predominating in autumn months.”

Fowler’s findings come amid suggestions that climate change is playing havoc with the country’s weather. This July was the hottest on record for most of England, while last winter was the coldest for a decade.

The temperature extremes have meant British farmers are now planting walnut trees, olive groves and grape vines, which have traditionally flourished in the Mediterranean.
The new research, to be presented this week at the British Association Festival of Science in Norwich, finds that all Scotland and the northwest of England had an average rainfall of more than 8in over the worst 10 days of each year in the 1990s.

Parts of south Asia have fiercer downpours during the monsoon season. Mumbai in India, for instance, averaged 8.2in of rainfall over the same period, according to official statistics.
The prospect of a rain- soaked autumn will come as little surprise to some regions, such as East Anglia, which has just experienced its third wettest August on record.

Fowler predicts the greater frequency of autumnal downpours will lead to more severe flooding and structural damage, such as seen in Boscastle, Cornwall, in 2004 when some 8in of rain fell in just four hours.
“I wouldn’t live near a river,” she said. “We need to think about whether to build homes on flood plains. The government has got to take a lead. We can control what happens on the ground, but we can’t control what falls from the sky.”

The rainfall pattern in the south east has also shown major changes with fewer torrential downpours. This may be linked to an overall decrease in rain across the region, which has led to water shortages. Although there are fewer such events, they are becoming fiercer, meaning the south east is at increased risk of occasional flooding.
Widespread floods in southern England in October 2000 affected 10,000 homes and caused £760m of damage. "
Continueing from my last blog,the merging of the previous low with the W.D. has caused a lot of rain dumping in the norhtern states like Kashmir and Punjab.Amritsar got 140mm of rain and all the rivers in Jammu and Kashmir region are in spate.Flash flooding is reported in the valley.Jammu city recorded 140mm of rain in the last 24hrs.
The latest depression has crossed Orissa and is weakening.Before that,let me state that due to a temporary ridge along the arabian sea,temperatures started rising slightly in Gujarat and going upto 33-34°c in places.But I feel with the approaching low,rains will bring down the temperatures.This depression is already pouring heavy rain (150mm in Govindpur,100mm in Paradip) in Orissa,and is moving N.West towardsM.P. and Gujarat and Vidharbh,portending rain in these areas since it seems to have deep convection in the south.
With another W.D. approaching from the west by the end of this week(by the 8th.),northern areas of Pakistan and India should get rain around that time.
Now is the bay done with?Not yet,according to Jim Andrews.Typhoon "loke" may yet send a remnant this way,maybe next week?But,due to the winds changing along with the season,and the approaching W.D.,the next of ,if it forms,may, I feel, move North/North-east,sheared off by the North- westerlies.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The total rain as of end August for Mumbai is as expected. On the plus side. The city has had a total rain of 1947 mm (78") and the surburbs 2494 mm (100") as of end August. Last year, on this date, the rain was 1603 mm (64") for city and 2545 mm (102") for the surburbs. Not to forget Mahableshwar, it has accumalated 7771 mm (311") as on end August.

The Bay is buzzing again! Its getting back to what it has been doing throughout this season. A new low is expected to form in the bay on 3rd Sept. The existing low has moved north to merge with the W.D. This is after a long instance that I have noticed a low forming in the bay on its own. Most of the lows forming in the bay are migrating remnants of pulse energy and circulations moving from the South China sea.

The movement will have to be monitored, as the last low moved quite differently and unexpectedly initially. It has already dumped substantial rain over M.P. and Chattisgarh and now is active over Rajasthan.

Weather has slightly cooled down in the Northern states of Kashmir and H.P. showing a mild trend of autumn. Gulmarg in Kashmir has gone down to 9°c on the 30th, showing a lowering trend.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The monsoon this year, as yet on 24th.Aug, is performing well overall, with only 1% deficient in India on the whole. The only deficient areas, as expected are Tamil Nadu and the N.Eastern region.
At present the monsoon trough has shifted very much to the north, at the foothills of the Himalayas. This means, the rains will be restricted to the Eastern region and Northern areas of India.Since the western end of the trough is far north, the excess rain areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan may get relief from rain. Now, another low is expected in the bay around 28th Aug. This means, that the eastern end of the trough will move southwards, and bring rain to east India. As this is the fag end of the monsoon season, the system may should move towards the northwest and not gain too much energy before dissipating in the monsoon trough around the east M.P. area. This low, will only prolong the widhrawal process which begins from West Rajasthan on 1st Sept. As this fresh low vanishes, the "aloft" low now over Central Asia will slowly drift down, and the season in far Northern areas start changing.

Mumbai will have passing showers for a few days, with slight increase in the showers next week.

Something away from the weather.

We have all been reading about the "Mars Phenomena" on the 28th Aug.

Well, more than Mars, I think what would be a better spectacle worth watching is the proximity of Venus and Saturn. Check it on this site.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A very interesting article I came across, about animal behaviour and the weather...

The weatherman's animal instinct: Gone with the wind?

Wildlife experts swear by traditional methods of predicting weather according to animal behaviour even in this scientific age.
It seems that the increasing amount of time we spend in the comforts of our homes or offices has switched off an inherent ability to read the signs that animals give, signifying changes in the weather or impending natural calamity.
By reading their behaviourial signs and monitoring their actions humans can get a clear idea of what the weather has in store for them.
Small things like ants scurrying about with their eggs, birds having a dust bath and spiders making webs in the shade, all signify the onset of rains. Similarly, birds flying low, signal the coming of a storm.
Lucknow Times spoke to some wild life photographers, conservationist, zoo workers and pet lovers to find out if they had experienced unusual behaviour of animals which gave them an inkling about any changes about to take place in the weather.
Noted wildlife photographer Rajesh Bedi says,"I have observed marked changes in the behaviour of the animals if they sense something unnatural. In the Sunderbans, just before a high tide, one can find all the animals, especially tigers climbing on to higher ground or even trees.
This gave us a warning that the tide was about to set in. Just before a storm, the vultures and eagles circle down to a lower height. Even during a solar eclipse, the birds remain in their nests.
So there is no denying that the animals have a very well developed sixth sense. It's something we humans can never comprehend." A thought his brother Naresh seconds. He says,"The birds start nesting just before the monsoons and same is the case with the crocodiles."
Mike Pandey, winner of the Green Oscar and wildlife conservationist also shares the same opinion, "It's incredible how the animals get to know the changes in weather. When the tsunami had struck last year, there were so many human casualties, but hardly any animals died.
It was observed that most of the animals had taken shelter in higher places. That is one odd incident, sceptics would say, but there are innumerable examples where the pets have forewarned their owners about an earthquake or a hurricane.
These animals are more attuned to nature than we give them credit for. Very few studies have been conducted on animal prediction due to the length of observation required, but animals have survived longer than human beings in any condition."
Zoo keeper Mohd. Israr has several interesting anecdotes to share. He says,"Animals have their own ways of protecting themselves from the vagaries of nature. They are rarely caught offguard by nature.
The animals instinctively know when and how the weather will change. Even in captivity, the animals do not lose their inherent instincts. If there's going to be a harsh winter then the bear will make his bed deeper into his cage.
Similarly, earthworms come out of their holes before it rains and the wolf and hyenas starting sniffing the air just before a storm. These are the signs that animals give and it is for us to interpret it and predict changes in weather."
Pallavi Sharma, a dog breeder, says,"Dogs have a very sharp extra sensory perception. In Uttarkashi, where we live, there are quite a few earthquakes, and our three dogs will force us to get out of the house if they feel one's coming.
At times they have forced us out of the house in the middle of the night. There's no explanation to this ability of the animals."

This article © The Times Of India

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I came across an article, which, after reading, I thought how little we know of our own atmosphere. Nature has so many hidden secrets, that I do not think man will know fully.
I reproduce the article as I find it worth sharing, © "The Discovery News" from their site dated 19th Aug.

Study: Dust Storms Are Electric
Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News

Aug. 17, 2006 — It's not just wind that raises sands and dust devils, say physicists, powerful electrical fields created by wind, sand and dust also levitate more of the nose-tingling stuff into the air.
The first-of-its-kind discovery could have implications for global climate modeling and even help explain what makes Mars such a dusty world.
More than 100,000 volts per yard of natural, so called "static" electricity have been measured in desert dust storms and the mini-tornado-like dust devils. Now, under laboratory conditions, Jasper Kok, a graduate student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, has reproduced the electrical fields found near the ground in desert wind storms and shown that they can also lift sand grains.
"We were very surprised," said Kok of the power of electrical fields to raise dust and sand. He and his faculty advisor, Nilton Renno, are publishing their results in a coming edition of Geophysical Research Letters.
The process starts with a little dry wind in a dusty, arid place that kicks up small dust grains so they collide with larger sand grains, Kok explained. When this happens the smaller grains steal electrons from the larger grains, giving the smaller grains a negative charge and the larger grains a positive charge.
"It’s very similar to rubbing your feet on a carpet to become charged," said Kok. In that case you are the smaller grain and the carpet is the larger grain.
Next, the negatively charged smaller grains are lofted above the ground by breeze, creating a negatively charged region in the air above the positively charged ground. That separation of charges is an electrical field.
Once that field is in place, as Kok has shown in the lab, more grains can be lifted up by the electrical forces, making for even dustier conditions than wind speed alone could create.
The phenomenon could have significant impacts on how much dust gets into the air worldwide, which means it’s a matter that global climate modelers need to study more closely, says Ron Miller of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Dust is an "aerosol," which can reflect sunlight back into space and cool the Earth’s surface, as well as just influence the quality of the air.
"For a given wind that’s already kicking up dust, you’d get more dust," observed Miller. It could also affect areas downwind of a dust source, he said, by transporting the electrical fields to other areas and more readily mobilizing dust in those places as well.
That matters a lot in places like China, where dust from the northern deserts whips south across industrial regions, picking up a lot of pollutants that can then be blown east as far as the European Alps.
As for Mars, electrical fields may help explain how dust gets around there, says Renno.
"On Mars the wind required to lift dust from the surface is very large," said Reno. This is because the atmosphere of Mars is very thin. "Winds of the magnitude required have never been measured, but there’s dust everywhere."
Kok says he’s already working on a new laboratory experiment with Mars-like conditions to see if the electrical fields may be at work on the Red Planet.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Last week (ended 16th Aug) produced an active monsoon for central and western India with 1Low and 2 depressions passing through central India. This picture shows the excessive rain in the states of rajasthan, Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra. In fact the systems remained strong upto Rajasthan and even after moving over into Pakistan. The latest depression, as on today(19th) lingers over Rajasthan and parts of adjoining Sindh. Even today the system persists as very heavy rain was recorded today in Banswara (Rajasthan) 230mm, Ratlam (M.P.) 240mm, and Bhiloda (Gujarat) 350mm. The week saw good wet conditions as the monsoon trough was south of its normal position throughout the week.
As on 16th Aug. the monsoon for the country was only at -2%.
The next few days will see the existing system moving west and generating heavy rain in Gujarat and west rajasthan and simultaneously pouring heavy rain over the sindh coast upto Karachi.
With the monsoon trough remaining south, or in normal position, an approaching fresh low may seek the path along Central India, but maybe slightly North, and thence weaken before crossing the Rajasthan desert into Pakistan.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Being in one of the wettest regions of the world,during the rainy season,is an experiance for nature lovers.Mahableshwar was superb the four days I was there.At 4500 feet above sea level,the clouds had enveloped the mountains,reducing visibility to 10-20 feet throughout the day.With the sun unable to penetrate the thick fog,the maximum temperature did not go over 18.5°c and the minimum at 16°c felt like 13°c with the strong winds creating the wind chill factor.Thick natural ornamental plants like orchids,ferns,lillies and many varities of creepers hung on to every available tree branch.The region is overflowing with greenery draping the place,untouched,as no one goes there in this season.During my four days stay at Mahableshwar,the place had rainfall of 50mm,126mm,136mm and 150mm.
The total rain in Mahableshwar from 1st.June to 17th.Aug. is 7200mm(288").

The low pressure mentioned earliar,has moved across India,and now has weakened over West Rajasthan and adjoining Sindh(Pakistan).It seems it will weaken further as it moves westwards.
The depression crossing Orissa has moved west and is weakening along its path.It seems by the time it reaches Gujarat on Saturday,it may be at the level of a "low".On crossing into Pakistan by Sunday,it may carry just enough moisture to precipitate light to medium rains along the coast.The path of the Low is estimated along the monsoon trough situated today.If the trough deviates,the path may also deviate,so it has to be watched and followed daily,as one can never predict Nature's next move !

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The week just ended (9th Aug.) has dumped plenty of rain in the central parts of India, with Maharashtra, Gujarat, A.P. West Rajasthan and West M.P. getting surplus rain for the week. There was flooding in Marathwada and S.Gujarat and most of the rivers were in spate, with Surat the worst affected.
For the season, on the whole, thanks to the bountiful rains, Marathwada which was in deficit, is now surplus at +31%, and overall, all the central states are in plus, with Gujarat region at + 69% and Madhya Maharashtra at + 76%. Only Tamil Nadu, Kerala and N.E.States are in deficit now. Overall, for India the rainfall is just about normal now at + 2% as on 9th Aug. Mumbai, rain is now at + 23%.
Mumbai Colaba has recorded 1736 mm (69") and Santa Cruz 2180 mm (87") till 10th Aug.
Mahabaleshwar is extremely heavy at 6114 mm (244").

The day temperatures in major cities of Maharashtra like Aurangabad, Pune, Nasik and Kohlapur have been pleasant, in the range of 22°c to 23°c last week, below normal by atleast 2-4°.

The West Pacific Ocean region is seeing a busy season this year with 8 typhoons from June till date. With another two typhoons gathering steam, the pulse will surely travel westwards, creating another "low", (intensifying later) in the Bay of Bengal by the end of this week. Travelling west, we can expect more rain in A.P, Orissa and Vidharbh by Sunday, and heavy rain in rest of Maharashtra and Gujarat by Monday/Tuesday (14th/15th). The flooded ares of the region could prevent the system from weakening as it crosses the coast.

Mumbai can get heavy rain from Monday, and Tuesday could get heavier as the system moves towards the west, attracting strong winds.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hot July in Europe and U.S: Well its been a hot July for most of Europe. To share some of the news and views, I shall give a clipping from BBC, which says it all. To quote "The statistics show that July was the hottest month since records began in 1914. The average daily temperature across the UK was 17.8 C (64 F), breaking the previous record of 17.5 C (63.5 F) set jointly in July 1983 and August 1995. Wisley in Surrey broke the highest July temperature record for anywhere in the UK, with 36.5 C (98 F). "

London recorded a high of 35°c end July and Paris 36°c. The heat wasn’t just confined to the UK. Germany had its hottest ever month since records began in 1901, and Denmark had its hottest ever July.

The U.S. was not spared either, the East coast going to extremes with NewYork recording a high of 39°c on 2/3 Aug. and a low of 31°c. Thats hot for us Mumbai people too! This picture of 2nd Aug. shows the maximum temperature of important U.S. cities.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A spectacular display of nacreous clouds © Atmospheric Optics is sometimes seen over the polar regions, especially in the winter months. These clouds occur in the stratosphere at a height of 15-25 kms high in the atmosphere, and pick up their pastel colours due to extreme low temperatures of around -175°F. Due to their appearance they are called "Mother of Pearl Clouds" and occur mostly (though not exclusively) in the polar regions.

Such sights are unforgettable, and one should have time and the eye to sit and admire the many miracles of nature. In nature, every moment is a miracle, wherever you may be.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The remnants of the Typhoon,Kaemi,has created a fairly strong system in the Bay of Bengal.This system is gathering strenght,and will bring heavy rains to the Orissa coast and then the rains will spread westwards.In short,interior Maharshtra and Gujrat will start getting heavy rains from Thursday.In the meanwhile,due to the pull of the system as it travels inland,Maharshtra coast,including Mumbai,will get fairly long spells of heavy rain from Thursday night.The rain should stretch into Friday/Saturday.

Fairly frequent heavy showers in Mumbai from Thursday night might cause inconvenience thru Friday,but the rains are needed,as Mumbai rain was slipping into the deficit region and the lakes need a topping up.

Mahableshwar rains have crossed the 5000 mm(200 inches) mark as on 2nd. August.This is now fairly above the normal for this time.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The rain during the month of July has been good in Maharashtra .Though in spates with long intervals in between,as indicated in my earliar write up,it shows better totals than June.

The rainfall of some places as compared to June for this year is:
a)June........ b) July
Mumbai Colaba a) 430 .......... b)938
Mumbai S'cruz a) 480 ............ b) 1062
Mahableshwar a)1102 ........... b) 3631
Pune a) 157 ........... b)412

Shows good rain in July thanks to the spurt in the last week of the month.Well, this indicates the state rainfall slowly climbing towards normal,though in some parts it is still below the normal.Mumbai is now around 7% above the normal for upto July end.

There will be a further boost now,with the new low developing over the bay today.Rains will increase in the Northern parts of Maharashtra,Western Maharashtra from Thursday and Mumbai from Wednesday/Thursday.

Dry areas of Gujrat have recieved good rains.A boon for the water reservoirs,as the down pours were heavy and intense.Desert town of Bhuj had 95mm of rain in a day,taking the seasons total to 285mm.The normal for Bhuj for the whole of July is 135mm,and for the season normal upto end of July is 168mm.This will be extremely good for the water table levels.Rajkot had 275mm in two days.

More rain is expected in Gujrat in the current week.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

It seems for those gone to Lonavla to enjoy the weekend it must have been wet and rainy. Lonavla had 190 mm of rain again today. There was heavy rain in Mahableshwar,which had 307 mm today,making a total of around 850 mm in the last three days only.Many places in Western Maharashtra too had good rain today.

Gujarat,too was drenched with Amreli getting 220 mm,Baroda 201 mm and Bharuch 140 mm.

More details later with end of the month(July) figures.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

On Tuesday/Wednesday, it has been rainy as far as Maharashtra is concerned. Mumbai had frequent showers with gusty winds and cool weather with the maximum temperature at 27°c. But it has been much cooler in some other cities of the state. Pune was 24.4°, Kolhapur was pleasant at 23.9°, Aurangabad a cool 24.6°, while it was a chilly 18.6° at Mahableshwar (all day temperatures)

Besides this, the rain figures for the last 24hrs. are also drenching.
Tamini (Ghats) had a downpour of 550 mm, Dawdi(Ghats) had 330 mm and Mahablashwar was soaked with 320 mm. Nearby Lonavla had 220 mm and our lakes had a good 120-140 mm.

Good useful rain for Mumbai and the hinterland which also had good rain with Pune having 62 mm, and Nasik 58 mm, heavy by their standards.

Friday, July 28, 2006

As estimated earlier, the "low"has formed today over the bay. Now, with its intensifying, rainfall will be good from Gujarat to Orissa, right across the Indian Peninsula, especially along the Konkan Coast. Mumbai will experience heavy rains from Saturday due to the combined effect of another low (aloft) as predicted by the IMD. In short, a wet weekend for Mumbai !

Good rains in Maharashtra during the next 4/5 days will do good as the Vidharbh and Marathwada regions of the state are deficient as on 26th July to the extent of -14% in Vidharbh and -28% in Marathwada. Even Konkan has slipped to-10%.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Just as this is the hottest period of the Northern Hemisphere,it is also the coldest for the S.Hemisphere. And the coldest spot on the globe was at the Amundsen Scott Station on the South Pole. On July 23rd,it recorded a minimum temperature of -77.7°c. Do not even try to imagine the intensity of the cold !These are extremes of the globe ,the other extreme being +48°c recorded at Basrah(Iraq)on 26th.July.A difference of 125°c between the two extremes !

As mentioned,the "low" is likely to form over the bay in a day or two,enhancing the rainfall over central India and Mumbai from Friday.With the system deepening,Mumbai may get a few thundershowers on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You think its hot in Mumbai? Well, take a look at this: Jim (from Accuweather,U.S) informs that around today is the hottest period for our Hemisphere. And the hottest places today, in Asia were Basrah (Iraq) and Kuwait at 49°. Feeling better?

Well the monsoon has become patchy all over, including Mumbai, on Monday. It will remain so till Thursday, when rains will improve slightly along the west coast (Mumbai) and then as a deep "low" forms over the bay by Friday, more rains will soak the west coast, as forecast models including IMD, estimate the "low" by Friday.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Last weeks overall rainfall was not upto the mark throughout India. It was scanty (yellow in the map) in northwest and north Konkan (Mumbai), deficient (red) in central India and north east, just about normal in the remaining areas.
This map from IMD shows the rainfall, for the week from 12th July to 19th July 2006.

The season as yet, upto 19th July 2006 is shown in the map below reproduced from the IMD site.

Again this shows deficient rain in the central parts of India and northeast and just normal elsewhere. The overall rain as on 19th July for India as per the IMD is -14%. Maharastra too is negative, with Konkan at -11% and Marathwada at-19% for the season.

Next week, rains may pick up in the west, south and central parts, after the formation of the "low" which may form in the Bay by the 24th. Till then the seasonal "low" of 994mb will prevail over Pakistan and adjoining India, which means drier weather in the region.
Northern parts of Central India had fairly good rains the last few days as the weak "low" moved inland over Jharkhand to East U.P. and then merged with the monsoon trough. Moderate rains, in the last few days were seen over parts of U.P. and Uttaranchal and some parts of N.Rajasthan. I think these parts will continue to recieve moderate rains for 3/4 days as the monsoon trough remains over the area with no signs of it sliding down till the next low comes in the bay (not visible till Mon/Tue at least) and, keeping the rainfall low over Central and Southern parts.

For Mumbai, the figures speak for themselves:
Rainfall from 1st June to 30th June:430mm (colaba)
:480mm (Scz)
With a long dry patch from 2nd June to21st June.
Rainfall from 1st July to 6th July : 697mm (Colaba)
: 788mm (Scz)
Rainfall from 7th July to 20th July : 46mm (Colaba)
: 42mm (Scz)
So a comparitively dry patch from 6th till 20thJuly. I feel that due to the absence of a strong low from the bay, Mumbai may continue to get only "hit and miss" showers till Mon/Tue at least.

Jim's Blog.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The current low moved across india on the 16/17/18th and today lies,almost dissipated,as an upper air circulation,over M.P/Gujarat.I was expecting some rain over Mumbai today,but there was hardly any rain,only 1mm,and partly cloudy skies.Once this system fizzles out,in a day,there will be sparse rain the peninsular,I think.The IMD has forecast a WD to approach N.India from the 21st.If it interacts with the monsoon low,as is expected, it will bring rains to N.West India,but maybe again push any approaching system from the bay, further away,or make it weak.
Rainfall figures along the path of the low have been moderate,with Nagpur recording 178mm on 18th morning and other centres from 30 to 70mm.Hence the average rain for the central area may improve during the week.

U.K. became very hot today,with Heathrow going to 33°c.Death Valley in Calif. recorded a high of52.2° on 16th after 4 straight days of 50°(thanks for the info. Jim).
The N.Hemisphere is in full summer heat .

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The monsoon low over the bay still remains as a weak "low" and in fact has crossed the coast and lies over Bihar. Remains to be seen as to how and where it moves, hopefully not creating another break condition, as no other low is in sight now. In fact a WD has been forecasted by the IMD for Friday the 21st.

Actually the week from 5th July to 12th July has been rain deficient, and though the overall deficient for Maharashtra and peninsular as on 12th is +11%, for the week it was -55%.

Hot spots in the N.Hemisphere.
Temps. of 15th July.
Europe: Cordoba (Spain): 41°c
Seville (Spain): 41°c
Lisbon (Portugal): 37°c

Asia: Rustaq (Oman): 47°c
Sur(Oman) : 47°c

Africa: In Salah (Alg) : 46°c

N.America:Needles (Calif) : 48°c
Las Vegas AP : 45°c

Thanks, Rajesh.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

SW Monsoon as yet

Well, as these are my first jottings, I want to just analyse the monsoon performance in India so far. As on 12th July, overall the monsoon is deficient by 10%. But I will just analyse it area wise to make it simpler. Rainfall is excess in Gujarat and west Maharastra, and deficient in M.P, Chattisgarh, north A.P and the North East. And normal elsewhere.

Now, checking on Mumbai, the rain is almost 25% excess. But the rain has not been uniform and has actually fallen in two major spurts, one from 28th June till 6th July and the earlier spell from 20th June to 25th. There is a dry spell now, which will hopefully be broken by tomorrow, if the "low" over the Bay crosses the coast.

Interior peninsular rain is normal, but the prolonged dry spell since 6th July till today, is unfavourable for farming and soil moisture. More Depressions from the Bay are now needed to enhance soil moisture, and we have got only two so far against the normal of 2/3 in June and at least 3 in July.

More observations after following the next development. It is Nature, we have to just see and observe, she knows best !

Thanks, Rajesh.
Hi!This is my first posting on this blog. I will be writing my observations, technical comments and views, concentrating on the Indian sub continent. The World's weather in general and extreme weather will also be discussed. I would love to have feedback and interact with anyone interested in meteorology.

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