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.