Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter, though late, is now gradually setting in over the northern regions of the sub-continent. Kargil in Kashmir had a high of -5c and a low of -20c today, and Leh had a low of -11c. Most of northern India has had low temperatures, and in the plains, Amritsar was the lowest at 1.6c. With the absence of cloud cover, thick fog has engulfed the north, and brought the day temperature down to 11c (9c below normal) at Amritsar on the 28th.
Central regions like M.P.,Gujarat and Maharashtra too have seen a drop, with Nasik recording 6c and Pune 8.7c on the 29th.
As predicted, the south too has started witnessing a drop in night temperatures.
The night temperatures can drop further by 2/3c in the next 2 days, specially in the north and north-west and Gujarat.
Also, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all computer models which have been used. They models are also used, every year, to predict a Global Warming . Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. Canada hade it’s entire country blanketed in snow for Christmas, the first time that has happened since 1971.
After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.
Records for the U.S. for the period 10 Dec -20 Dec 2008;
Total Records: 3733, Rainfall: 952, Snowfall: 768, Low Temperatures: 326, Lowest Max Temperatures: 1154
Europe is also bracing up for a harsh winter.
Earliar this year,on May 21, “Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts” , reported that the entire Alpine “winter sports industry” could soon “grind to a halt for lack of snow”. On December 19, headed “The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation” , reported that this winter’s Alpine snowfalls “look set to beat all records by New Year’s
Italy had to deal with the Gore Effect, resulting in record snow…in autumn.
And U.K., had its earliast snows and cold in a long time.
Siberia is dealing with -60°C. That’s without windchill. The record cold there is -69°C.
Global Cooling??

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The W.D. having moved away, the projected fall in the night temperatures has started in the northern regions and central/western areas of India. A low of 2.4c was recorded at Amritsar on the 25th. and Delhi and cities in the Punjab have recorded lows of 5-7c . The IMD variation map shows the night temperatures in the nearly normal range now, after a long period of above normal tendencies. there are patches of below normal areas too. I project the nights to get cooler in the south too.
The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is an area of low pressure that forms where the Northeast Trade Winds meet the Southeast Trade Winds near the earth's equator. As these winds converge, moist air is forced upward. It moves toward the Southern Hemisphere from September through February and reverses direction in preparation for Northern Hemisphere Summer that occurs in the middle of the calendar year.
With the ITCZ ( having moved away southwards,there will be no system coming in the next week in the southern regions.Hence, the weather should be dry almost in the entire country for the next 8-10 days. As a result, the "wintry" effect will intensify proportionately throughuot the country from Christmas Day.

The winter, on the other hand, is very severe in many regions of China, and in the U.K. In the western hemisphere, the U.S. and Canada are facing a very harsh start to the winter season.

Extreme cold that had blanketed most of Siberia in recent days is now moving into China and the Koreas. Some high temperatures on Sunday include, -60 c at Oymyakon, Siberia. Numerous other locations in Siberia notched highs in the -50- to -60-degree range. Beijing, China, only managed to climb to -8.8c for an afternoon high on Sunday.

In the U.S., a massive winter storm blanketed the US West Coast with snow, sleet and ice while blizzards and snow squalls struck the Northeast and Midwest. The snow cover map says it all, and shows Canada covered with snow from shore- to -shore !

Even Las Vegas was transformed into a winter wonderland earlier this week, as more than 9cm (3.5 inches) of snow fell across the city, its heaviest snowfall in nearly 30 years. Residents and tourists were shocked to see the rare site of palm trees along the Las Vegas strip covered in a thick coating of snow.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

The ICTZ movement southwards mentioned in the last blog, is late this year, and has been the main reason of the cloudiness and lows in the Arabian Sea. And the late arrival of winter in the Indian region.

This is also reflected in the weather in the southern hemisphere.
The rainy season in Mozambique usually begins in October, with the heaviest rains falling between December and March, but this year, there is still no sign of the annual heavy rains.The ongoing drought conditions in central and southern Mozambique are prompting concern for insufficient water resources .
Some heavy showers are forecast to arrive in southern Mozambique later this week.

Also ,Tropical cyclones Billy and Cinda continue to churn out in the Indian Ocean, with Billy tracking towards Western Australia. Both cyclones have arrived late in the year, with the majority of tropical storms normally occurring between May and November.
The tropical cloudiness map shows the ICTZ, near the cloudy areas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008





The W.D. mentioned moved eastwards into India, and formed a secondary low,aloft, at 25N. As a result,there was some rainfall in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and some light rain in Mumbai on Friday/Saturday.The secondary low has attracted moisture clouds from the arabian Sea towards it.
But the W.D. has brought good rain/snow in the northern hills,especially in H.P.
Higher reaches in the upper Manali region experienced a fresh spell of snowfall while the lower parts of the areas received widespread rain.The Rohtang pass, gateway to Lahaul-Spiti district, including Pir Panjal ranges, Bhrighu ski slopes, Marhi meadows, Gulaba, Hamta ski slopes and Chanderkhani Pass also received fresh snowfall.
Higher reaches in Kullu had snowfall and the lower region had rains on Friday. Peaks of Mattikochhar, Mout Nag, Phungni Devi and Bijli Mahadev experienced snow today. The minimum temperature recorded at Bhuntar remained 2.7°C.

The IMD streamline map shows the winds turning to the north-south direction today. Hence, as a result, with the moving away of the current W.D.,we may expect the night and day temperatures to drop substantially in the northern states,after Tuesday. The minimums will also drop by 4-5c in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra from Tuesday. Hence, the lows in Pune may go down to 10c, and in Mumbai 15c after Tuesday. Cities in Gujarat may see a low of 9-10c also.

Meanwhile, I do not see any more systems coming from the bay now.The ICTZ is now seen moving southwards. This is established by the fact that now 2 cyclones have been formed in the southern hemisphere in the last 3 days.Hence, the rain bearing systems bringing rain to T.N. cease.

kapadias@gmail.com

Monday, December 15, 2008




Topsy Turvy and unusual weather news from Saurashtra today(Monday). Ashokbhai from Rajkot gave reports of thunder and traces of rain in Rajkot and from several places in the region.

A stream of clouds is seen pushing into the region from the Arabian Sea into M.P.

Also,a low pressure area is persistant in the Arabian Sea at 9N and 62E. This is surely going to keep winter away from the central, western and southern Indian regions for another few days. Temperatures in Gujarat and Maharashtra are 7c above normal !!

The approaching W.D. is expected to push moisture,and rain,into western Gujarat, and Kutch, alonwith Rajasthan on Tuesady thru Thursday.The W.D. will precipitate fair amounts of rain/snow all along the norhtern regions on Wednessday/Thursday.

An appraoching easterly trough, embedded in the ITCZ,can produce rain in the coastal and interiors of T.N. and spill some rain into south Karnataka and east Kerala during the next 2 days.Contrary to my earliar judgement, the monsoon rain spell in the south of the current season is extended by atleast 8 to 10 days.

kapadias@gmail.com

Thursday, December 11, 2008







PLEASE NOTE ALL MAPS ARE UPLOADED AND PLACED IN THE BEGINING ONLY DUE TO SOME TECHNICAL PROBLEMS IN UPLOADING
Dubai had been drenched last week by unusual rains and hailstorms last week as a result of the W.D.system .The system travelling thru the Emirates region,Dubai had a hailstorm which covered many regions and parts of the city with a white carpet of hail. A welcome drop in temperatures was witnessed, with the minimum going down in the region of 15c. Subsequently, the W.D. has passed, and dry weather is now forecasted with the temperatures in the range of 26-18c nthis week.

But, due to the continuous chain of sytems in the south,(the latest defiantly crossing into the Arabian Sea), most of India south of Kashmir, is devoid of any meaningful winter. The anomaly map of the first week of December shows the entire country in the "above normal" range, with a "tongue" of red piercing south in the centre.No real drop in temperatures is recorded as yet this year, and the IMD minimum temperature anomaly shows the nights as high as 7c above in some regions.Even the days are high as seen in the map.

And Mumbai...going thru an extreme heat wave and hot December conditions. The diagram above shows the Mumbai temperatures in a continuous "red" phase, and Pune, with a "fat" red blob in the last 15 days.The above normal days shown in the Pune diagram is very unusual.

What now? When do we get our winter and when will it cool down? Only after the last remnants of the southern systems vanish. As on today, a strip of clouding has again spread over the Maharashtra region, making it stuffy and hot.

Saturday, December 06, 2008





The heat is certainly being felt in Mumbai ! Much against expectations and forecasts, a heat wave has spraed along the coast of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The IMD map of the maximum temperatures on the 5th. clearly indiactes the "red" regions of extreme heat! It is December, and the maximum day temperatures along the coast of Maharashtra and all of Gujarat is around 35-36c, much above the normal!
The highest at Mumbai on the 5th. was the highest in Asia too, at 37.7c. Incidently, this is the highest ever recorded at Santa Cruz in December!In Asia, Makkah was next at 37c!The list shows the top hottest places in Asia on the 5th.

Mumbai / Santacruz Airport (India) 38°

Makkah (Saudi Arabia) 37°

Goa / Panjim Airport (India) 36°

Surat (India) 36°

Rajkot (India) 36°

Ratnagiri (India) 36.

On the 5th,Mumbai Colaba was 36.4c, and the highest everfor December at Colaba was only marginally higher at 36.6c.
This heat has belied all forecasts by any model or forecasting module.

Meanwhile, the deep depression in the bay was today,6th, at 450kms east of Sri Lanka.At this time,a north-westward drift with some northward component is indicated.Some GFS models, however, seems to "loose" 07B as if it were dissipating the system.
I feel,the system is expected to cross the coast of T.N. and Puducherry, just skirting the Lanka coast.Very heavy rains are expecetd in the next 2/3 days.
The system, with a core pressure at 996mb, has been numbered at 07B, and as it moves inland, heavy rains are forecasted for T.N. and Kerala.Inland,the system will be heading towards Cochin.Hence, rains will be restricted to T.N. and Kerala.


But,Sri Lanka is getting very heavy raiansince the 4th.due to 07B.The intensity of this rainfall is unusual for Sri Lanka at this time of year. Heavy rain is normally associated with the S.W. Monsoon, which runs from June until October, often leading to widespread floods. From December through February the country experiences drier weather, with clear skies and little rain

As mentioned in the last blog, the approaching W.D. is expected over north India by the 6th. and pulling of moisture and rain clouds is possible from the Arabian Sea. Hence, some rain on the 7th. can be expected in Rajasthan and parts of western Saurshtra and Kutch.Nothern plains will get their winter rains from the 6th. for a couple of days.

Thursday, December 04, 2008





Taking a review of the November weather, it seems winter has eluded most of the regions of the sub continent for the month.During the month of November, the temperatures hav been upto 3c above normal in most of North India, Western regions of India, and in the Central areas. Rest has been normal, except, as the above map shows, a small patch of below normal area in the south (due to heavy rains).

In spite of 2/3 W.Ds,in the latter half of November,and most of Kashmir region getting its first early snows,the temperatures rose back to the near normal levels on the passing of the W.D.The minimum temperatures in the plains,that is Punjab and Haryana regions,are around the 8-10c levels,a little above normal, and Delhi is slightly above normal at 25-26c in the day.-The Kashmir region has shown signs of dropping night temperatures in the first 2 days of December-Srinagar has dipped to -2c and Leh to -12c !
Another W.D. is expected to cross north India from the 5th. With a trough (aloft) extending southwards from the W.D., some rains can be expected along the west Gujarat coast due to this on the 5/6th.Also, the northern states should get moderate rains from the 5/6th.

In central India, and Maharashtra/Gujarat, the incursion of moisture from cyclone Nisha, and 2 depressions from the bay moving inland,and resurfacing in the Arabian Sea, has resulted in light to medium rains. Some stations, like Pune airport recieved heavy rain of 6cms of rain on the last day of the month.Many stations in Maharashtra had daily rains between 3-10mms between the 23rd. and 30th. of November. Mumbai too has had cloudy and muggy weather, with light drizzles in the last week. Naturally, this prevented the temperatures from rising, and created a "heat Wave" in the Konkan region in the last week of the month. Mumbai was unsually hot in November, with the days at 36c almost throughout the last 2 weeks of the month.

As a result of these sytems from the bay, the south was dumped with good rains.The north-east monsoon suddenly got reactivated and the deficit was covered . With another low now ready in the south bay,as on the 3rd., more rains are expected in the southern most regions of T.N. and Kerala upto the 7th. A combination of an easterly wave and a low presuure system is expected to cross the south T.N. coast around the 5th. Heavy rains can commence in the exterem south after the 5th.for a couple of days.
This could be the last spell of rains of the current season for the south.

Looking at the above scenario, I expect,wintry condtions to resume in the north from the first week of December.The central regions, that is, M.P,Maharashtra and Gujarat can expect temperatures to start falling,finally, around the end of the first week.

kapadias@gmail.com

Sunday, November 23, 2008





The easterly wave from the bay has produced good amounts of rain in the southern peninsula of India in the last 5/6 days, and as expected, the embedded low, still holds on to a forecast by models for the formation of a low in the southern bay around the 25th.The rains will continue till the approaching system pours more rain in the regions it covers.

The cloudiness in the south and prevailing south-easterlies,has resulted in a "heat wave in November" along the west coast of India, especially the northern parts including Mumbai.Mumbai, is unusually warm and hot. The highs in Mumbai during the last two days is hovering around 36c.while, for the information, the highest ever in November for Mumbai is 37.4c Ratnagiri, at 37c on the 22nd., was the hottest spot in Asia !!Meanwhile, normal hotspots like Dubai was 31c and other spots in the gulf were around 31-33c. THe IMD map above shows the heat wave along the northern west coast.
kapadias@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008





Tropical Cyclone 05B, or Khai Muk, moved inland through A.P. and quickly moved westwards towards South Maharashtra, and, as the IMD streamline image above shows, has now entered the Arabian Sea as a low pressure. But not much should be expected from this weak system now, as it will dissolve in the "not so warm" waters of the sea.

Maharashtra did get its expected share of scattered rains. Nanded got 10mms and Mahableshwar recieved 15mms,suddenly cooling the hill station down to a max. of 18.6c, while several other towns in Maratwada and south Maharashtra, including Goa and Konkan had rains between 3-8mms.Mimbai had a light drizzle on Tuesday night.

Now, due to the sudden incursion of moisture, the sporadic rains, though weak, will continue in interior Maharashtra till Friday, after which, the dry spell of winter will resume in the region.

A strongish easterly wave off the T.N. coast (seen in the steamline map) is expected to bring fairly good rains in coastal and inland T.N., south coastal A.P.from the 19th. The E.Wave will have a low embedded in it, which should increase the easterly current (and rains) around the 20th.
Some "monsoon like " conditions will be seen in the south now. Contiunity of fairly good rains are expected in these regions till the 25th.

Tropical depression Noul hit southeastern Vietnam on Monday, bringing heavy rains and flooding, in the tenth storm to hit the country this year.The storm, which was downgraded from a tropical cyclone as it made landfall near the coastal city of Nha Trang.
Noul has been weakening rapidly over land during the past day, and is forecast to dissipate fully over Cambodia later today, before emerging in the Gulf of Thailand.

Around the 25th.ECMRWF has predicted the formation of a depression in south bay. This is the maturing of the embedded low in the E.Wave.It is forecasted the depression can strengthen into a deep depression, or even a cyclone by the 27th.

Meanwhile, winter has made its mark in the northern sub continent. The minimum temperatures have gone down to -10c in Leh, and -8c in Quetta, with several stations in north Kashmir seeing -2c to -5c.The plains of Punjab are now in 8c range.
With another W.D. approaching the extreme north,more rain/snow can be expected in the higher reaches in a day or two.

kapadias@gmail.com

Saturday, November 15, 2008




Writing after 7 days, I was waiting for the low I mentioned in my prevoius blog, to appear. Well, it has certainly "appeared"' and swiftly swung into action, and has already become Tropical Cyclone 05B. As on 14th. night, TC05B was at 225NM north-eastof Chennai. Central core pressure is at 989mb,and expected to strenghten further.Now,it will steer clear of the ridge,to cross the Andhra coast near Vijaywada by the night of the 15th.Naturally, very heavy rains and very squally weather is to be expected off the Andhra coast today and tomorrow. The effect on the north Tamil Nadu coast will also be felt in the form of heavy rains in Chennai on the 15th./16th.
Interior A.P. will be affected the most,and some coastal towns in A.P.expected to record upto 200mms of rain in 24hrs.

Now,as the system moves inland, some interesting rainfall pattern is expected. After the system has covered the whole of A.P. with rains, Marathwada and north interior Karnatak can get some rains by the 17th. South Maharashtra, including Pune and Mahableshwar, can recieve rains around the 17th./18th and the "northern" ghats, meaning Lonavla, can recieve rains on the 18th. But the system will fizzle out quickly after moving inland, hence the Maharashtra rains will last only for a day or two.Mumbai has a 50-50 chance of some thunder cloud drifting over on the 18th.

In the northern regions, the W.D.mentioned has poured good rains/snow in Kashmir, and northern areas of Pakistan. Srinagar had 35mms of its first snow this season, with the day temperature not rising above 1.6c on the 14th.And also, in its moving away, a cold front has covered the "rear' of the W.D. Lows of -8 to -9c have been recorded in western regions of Pakistan on 14th.
Hence, I certainly expect a cold wave over Kashmir, H.P., Punjab, north Rajasthan,Delhi and Haryana after the 16th.In Delhi, minimum temperatures can go down to 10c, and places in Punjab will see 8c in the next few nights.

kapadias@gmail.com

Friday, November 07, 2008






No rains period continues in the entire sub continent region. The reason is a dominant "high" in the 500-700hpa heights, stagnant over the north-west India areas. Resultantly, there is above normal warmth over the region, with places in Sindh and rajasthan recording upto 37c, in 2nd. week of November !
Nights are just about getting a bit cool, with the plains in Pakistan recording lows in the 8-10c range, and the northern plains of India recording between 10-12c, still, above normal..However, the southern half of India remains around normal. Srinagar reached 1.9c yesterday(6th.) and Leh was at -5c.Both are around normal.

Clearly seen in the IMD maps above.

We now have to look out for: - The "high" to shift eastwards, toenable some rain to commence in the south.
- The WD to move eastwards along the Kashmir region to produce some rain/snow over the northern areas.
- To wiat for the formation of a low, expected middle of next week, in the bay. Could later become a depression.

Sunday, November 02, 2008





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The temperatures in the sub continent show no signs of the winter lows. The days and nights are still above the normal. Another WD is awaited for the actual winter to arrive in the region. The IMD maps above show the extent of the above normal temperatures.

Meanwhile the cyclonic storm "Rashmi" weakened and after passing through the north-eastern states of India, crossed into Tibet region.A massive snowstorm followed.
The snowstorm event was attributed to "Rashmi" which developed over the Bay of Bengal and drifted north. Heavy rain associated with the cyclone quickly turned into heavy snow across the Tibetan region as it collided with a cold air mass. Although heavy snow is not an uncommon event in Tibet, a snowstorm this severe was fairly unusual this early in the season.
Heavy snow fell for more than 36 consecutive hours earlier in the week averaging snow coverage of 1.5 meters, with drifts up to three meters in places. Many people were either frozen to death or crushed by buildings which collapsed from the sheer weight of the snow.

Meanwhile,there is a weak sign of an easterly wave bringing some rain in TN and south AP from the 5th.The rains are expected in TN for about 3/4 days, before drying out again. ECMRWF expects the next low in the bat around the 16th. Not much rain before that.
kapadias@gmail.com


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As anticipated in the last blog, the lull in the rains has commenced. The cyclonic storm moved into Bangla Desh on the 27th., and dissipitated fast. The moisture content of the peninsula has been "sucked" away from the land, and the resultant satellite image today (29th.), shows absolutely clear skies over the entire region. Hence, what else but dry weather ?
I maintain, that the dry spell will last in the southern regions of India till about the 4th. of November. Around the 4th./5th., an easterly wave can bring some rainshowers to TN and coastal AP. No organised sysytem is seen forming till the first week of November in the bay.
In fact, a stationary ridge over the Arabian Sea and west coast of India will result in clear skies and slightly "warmish" days over the west/nortwest India and central /southern Pakistan.
Night temperatures have not dipped much over the sub-continent since my last write-up. Only the extreme north region, Ladakh, has seen a fall in the minimum temperatures, with Leh dropping to -5c.

kapadias@gmail.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Continuing from the previous blog, the projected low in the bay has formed, intensified into a depression, and now, on Saturday evening, lies at 17N and 87E, 420 kms east south-east of Vizag. Susequently, this is expected to intensify more, and move in a north easterly direction. It should gain and become a cyclone within the next 36 hrs.
As a result of the strengthening , much of the moisture and rain clouds in the bay and in the southern peninsula today, will gradually get pulled towards the system. Resultantly, rains will decrease from the coastal regions and interiors of TN in the next 24hrs., and from coastal and interior AP after 36hrs.
Much rain, would now gain and concentrate in the Orissa, W.Bengal regions in the next few days.The system, cyclone "Abe" if named (Ashokbhai corrects me and informs the name will be "Rashmi"), would strike the WB/Banladesh coast around 28th.
Thus, I see a respite from rains for TN and AP from 26th./27th. The lull in the rains may last till the 4th. of November, when the effect of the system will wear off, and allow the easterly waves from the bay to bring back rain bearing clouds.
The bay depression is pulling in all the moisture from the weak low in the south Arabian Sea as well. The current rains in the southern peninsula is a result of the rain clouds being dragged across the land towards the east. Hence, this system in the western sea is expected to fizzle out soon.

Remarkably low temperature ( for this time of October),of 11.6c was recorded at Pune today, 25th.October, 18c is normal. Several stations in Maharashtra had 12c (Nasik and Ahmednagar).

In the extreme north, winter has started setting in the Kashmir/ HP regions. In HP, first snowfall has been recorded in the Rohtang Pass, and all the higher reaches. Kalpa and Keylong have recorded 0c as their lowest temperatures this season. In Kashmir, the low in Srinagar is now 4c, and -1c in Leh during the last 2 nights.
Next blog update of the cyclone and winter progress will be on 29th.
kapadias@gmail.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

Starting from the Arabian Sea, the much monitored low there has concentrated into a depression. It now lies over the western Arabian Sea, almost skirting the Oman/Yemen coast and the coast of Somalia. At this postion, it is not going to affect the shores of the sub-continent as the movement of the system will be north-west, on deepening further.

I now wait for the forecasted low in the bay. It is expected to form around the 24th. off the coastal regions of A.P. Like I mentioned, its direction and intensification will be dependend on the WD, which will travel across extreme north of the sub continent around the 22nd. In all likeleyhood, within this scenario, the system will move northwards. I would not forecast the future intensification and actual direction of this system now.

As a result, the rainfall pattern and intensity for the southern peninsula will continue to remain as it is, till at least the bay low surfaces. But for the next 1 week, the "normal" north-east monsoon rains will continue, in the existing pattern, as the trough line embedded in the ITCZ, running from the depression, thru a low over Sri Lanka southwards, thus remaining just below the tip of India. Todays IMD streamline shows this clearly.


With the moving away of last week's WD, the night temperatures have started falling in the northern plains. Across the border, Islamabad night temperature fell to 12c, and in India, the Punjab towns saw 15c-16c (including Delhi). The IMD map shows a large area around north/central India in the 16s.But as the fresh WD approaches, these night temperatures may rise again from the 21st.


Due to strong inland easterlies along the west coast of India, the days have been abnormally hot since the last 2/3 days. Most of the coastal towns of Maharashtra have touched 37c, almost 4-6c above normal.
Mumbai too is hot at 36.6c being recorded at Colaba, and 37c at S'Cruz. during the last few days . The heat has been "stiffling" for the Mumbaites, as it is almost touching the all time high for October, at 38c, for, Colaba, and Santa Cruz. The Mumbai heat is expected to lessen from Wednessday,22nd., as with the WD approaching, the easterlies should change to north-westerlies.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

All on schedule! The south -west monsoon has given way to the north-east monsoon on the 14th. of October. As yet no organised system is seen in the bay, so, as mentioned, the rains will not be widespread in the south. The ICTZ having moved south, to almost 5N, is cause of the belt of rain clouds seen in satellite images on the southern tip of India and below.

But a low is forecasted in the bay during the week 21-28 October. Its intensification needs to be observed, though a few models have projected a cyclone in the bay by the 24th. I would wait for the advancing W.D., now a couple of days away, and then determine the bay system's movement.

The anticipitated low in the Arabian Sea has formed, and is now at 5N. Its movement is projected towards Oman, on intensification, but I would not rush into any forecasting now !

Meanwhile, a fairly active W.D. has whitewashed the upper hills of Kashmir with the first snow, and the plains of north India with winter rains. A sharp fall now in night temperatures for the north from 17th.

next update on 20th.

kapadias@gmail.com


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Continuing from the last blog, the 200hpa westerly jet streams have slid further south, almost to 20N , and the sea level winds have completed their reversal, and the south-west monsoon has moved away from all regions of the country, except the southern states of Karnatak, A.P.,T.N., and Kerala. But the streamline map shows the entire southern region to be ready for the simultaneous "transition" of the south-west monsoon to the north-east monoon in couple of days.

Initially, the rains in T.N. not be very widespread in the absence of an organised system. But the 200hpa jet stream will bring the rain clouds inland as Easterly waves, in "immature formations", will push into the coastal areas of T.N. and south A.P.

Meanwhile, all international models show the formation of a low in the south Arabian Sea around the 16th. As mentioned, the heating up of the Maharashtra/ Gujarat and central peninsula regions can dominate the course of the low. Map from IMD shows the north-west regions of India, and adjoining Pakistan, heating up to temperatures above 39c. The heat is expected to cover the entire Gujarat/ Maharastra regions.

The low is projected to intensify, and move north in the subsequent days after 16th. Its movement will be watched after it forms.
Next blog will be updated on 16th. October.



Wednesday, October 08, 2008

With the 200 hpa westerly jet stream gradually pushing its way south, now having come down to 26N, the south-west monsoon has to give way and recede further down south.
As per my last blog, the winds and the jet stream patterns, and the atmospheric conditions, show, and, as per my assumptions, confirm with the complete widhrawal of the monsoon from all regions north of 20N.
The last of the stray isolated thundershowers will pop up in Maharashtra on the 8th. ,and, I feel, the monsoon should be bidding farewell to Maharashtra, Goa, North Karnatak and A.P. from the 9th.
By next week, the reversal of the south-west winds would be complete in the peninsula area, and the westerly jet stream should slide to the regions below 15N. Hence, it would be safe to predict the North-East Monsoon current to be picking up and rain bearing systems to start forming for the commencement of the reverse monsoon thereafter, say around 14th./15th. of October.
For the north-east monsoon systems to form, the influence from the equator region decreases, and the formation of a system in the bay directly depends on the strenght of the north-east winds, and the high pressure in the north China region, which is the main "power house".

The northern regions of the sub continent, are now getting some showers/winter rains due to a fairly active W.D. crossing the belt along N.Pakistan/H.P./Kashmir regions. Higher reaches in Ladakh had snowfall today. A sharp drop in night temperatures in the northern regions is expected once the skies clear on the passing of the W.D.

Some meteorologists and a few forecast models had foreseen the formation of a cyclone in the Arabian Sea by the 2nd. week of October. I do not see any signs of a cyclone forming off the west coast of India in the next 15 days at least. I limit myself to 15 days now, as the formation of a cyclone in this area is directly related to the "October heat" in the region. So, a lot depends on how much the land would heat up in the first 2 weeks of October.
kapadias@gamil.com

Saturday, October 04, 2008

With the wind pattern getting more "un-monsoon" like over the sub continent, the monsoon is now sliding southwards. The winds shows a ridge in the Arabian Sea, and south -west monsoon current showing signs of dis-organisation.
To put the final stamp on the widhrawal, a W.D is forecasted by the IMD (also seen in the streamline), by the 6th. A W.D. is a typically winter system, and will push the monsoon trough down south.
In the meantime, a late partial re-strengthening of the Easterly 200hpa jet streams over the 20N region, (see map) has produced, the predicted rains, in Maharashtra, Gujarat and south M.P. regions.There were thundershowers in parts of Saurashtra, Konkan, Marathwada, south Maharashtra and south M.P. on the 3rd. and 4th. of October. Mumbai had thundershowers on the 4th.


These rains are expected to cease in Gujarat and the monsoon expected to move away from the areas north of Gujarat from the 6th.

However, Konkan, Ghat stations (Lonavala & M'shwar), and Marathwada can recieve some thunder showers for another 3/4 days, maybe upto Tuesday,7th. Heavy rain at a few places in the Ghats can be expected in this period.

Subsequently, with the W.D. seen to dominate the northern areas in a couple of days, the weak easterly jet streams can change directions, and indicate a monsoon widhrawal from Maharashtra and central India from the 7th.
Next blog update 8th. October.





Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Come October, and another settled and dry day all over and with the last of a weak Monsoon low fading, and the from satellite imagery showing cloudings sparsely near the India-Nepal border.

The streamline of the first day of October clearly indicates the almost total reversal of the winds in the sub continent, and, importantanly, in the Arabian Sea. The dry air penetrating over the peninsula has cleared the skies over the entire region, and resulted in a drop in the minimum temperatures over the central regions of maharashtra and M.P. (Pune at 16c and Aurangabad/Nasik at 18c ).

An over view of South Asia ( from "Thailand Met Dept" map), shows the ITCZ to have shifted to 22N over India, and running southwards towards the northern bay area, and then into the mid regions of Thailand. This is now expected to recede southwards fast, and move below the southern tip of India in about 15 days. That will hearld the total reversal of winds in the Indian region, and the onset of the "reverse" monsoon.

But, for the "reverse monsoon, we need a sysytem in the bay !
Another 5 days ahead, is another predicted low in the bay, a follow through from Tropical Storm Mekkhala, which has landed in Vietnam as of Tuesday. Numerical forecasts have been showing only a weak reflection of a low, owing at least partly to the moisture lacking northerly winds .

A weak, late-season spell of monsoon rains is forecast the coming weekend over peninsular India. This would favor local rain westward from interior Maharashtra with scattered thunderstorms elsewhere in north Karnatak nad south M.P.
Hence, the actual widthdrawal, below Gujarat, may be delayed by the IMD till this spell of rain fades away.
I shall put up my next update on 4th. October.




It is now expected that the night temperatures will start dropping in the northern states, Rajasthan, M.P. Gujarat and Maharashtra in the next week. But, the days are expected to remain warm all over this region for the next 15 days at least.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In the last blog, I mentioned that the monsoon was receding, but we had to observe the bay low which was forecasted for this week, before the rainy season restarts its reversing.

Now, there is big drying up of the Subcontinent, a sign of the reversal of the SW Monsoon as it withdraws.

A feeble low has formed in the North Bay of Bengal once again. It might just precipitate fairly widespread rainfall West Bengal, Sikkim and coastal Orissa only, and not take the path of the last depression.. It clearly lacks intensity to drive any further than that. Thus, as seen in the IMD streamline, the seasonal anti-cyclone (high pressure area with dry weather) is advancing in from extreme west Rajasthan.

Now, what about next week? No forecasts have been made about any fresh low in the bay now, but we have to watch the typhoon Hagupit, a Category-3 storm raging currently in the Northwest Pacific and heading towards the south-east China coast. Also, next in line, perhaps, will be a tropical wave centered in the area of Yap Islands as of Tuesday. This wave could become the next tropical depression as its drifts west-northwest over the southern Philippine Sea.

But all this activity in the Pacific, may be a booster to the North-East monsoon setting. Later in about 100/12 days hence, the leftovers of Hagupit could reform as a well-marked monsoon low near the head of the Bay.

This should initiate the onset of the North-East monsoon around mid-October. But before this, the southwest monsoon should have withdrawn completely , and the winds should change, which is indicative in today's map above. September 30 is the normal date for this to happen, but, due to the initial hiccup in its widhrawal, is behind schedule at least as of now.

It had been forecasted by some models and forecasters in the last week, of a MJO reviving, and likely increase of rain in the southern peneinsula. Now, as of this week, MJO forecasters see a depleting MJO causing a dry spell in the southern region of India. However, I feel, at this time of the year, specially during the "changing season" period, the effects of an MJO over the sub continent is minimal, due to stronger seasonal changes.

Almost dry weather in all of the sub continent (barring Bengal, Sikkim and some isolated rain in the north-east), till next week. However, "local" thunderstorms , though scattered, can be expected in Maharashtra, during the next 5/6 days. That is during the receding of the monsoon.






Saturday, September 20, 2008

The inter action of the low(remant of the deep depression) with the W.D. has caused heavy rain and snow in H.P.The rains and snow stared fromFriday,19th.
Heavy rain in most parts of the state and early snowfall in higher reaches of Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti have disrupted normal life in the state.
There are reports of snowfall in the higher reaches of tribal districts and Chitkul. Most parts of the state have been lashed by heavy rain. The monsoon has been very vigorous that triggered landslides and caused uprooting of trees.
In Shimla, there has been 111.58 mm rainfall since yesterday, causing landslides and disruption in vehicular movement. Trees have been uprooted at several places, including Khalini Chowk, and many of the link roads blocked due to landslides.
There has been 29 mm rainfall at Sundernagar, 30 mm at Bhuntar, 75 mm at Kalpa, 25 mm at Mandi, 79 mm at Solan, 45 mm at Kotkhai, 62 mm at Renuka, 97 mm at Rajgarh, 152.7 mm at Arki, 44.3 mm at Kasauli, 31.4 mm at Nahan and 48 mm at Dharampur.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on both sides of the 13,050 ft high Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti valley.
Inclement weather conditions which worsened since Friday, caused hundreds of persons to spend the night in their buses and other vehicles due to fresh snowfall on Friday afternoon at both sides of the Rohtang Pass.
Leh, in Ladakh, also recieved its initial snowfall of this season on the 19th.
Punjab, too, had very heavy rain. The rains may not benefit the crops now, as they are not needed.
Also Gujarat, has had some record rains, with Dhandhuka, recieving a massive 500mms. in the 24 hrs. ended Thursday. Several places in Saurashtra recieved between 250-450mms in 24 hrs.

The "flood belt" is now spreading, and has covered Gujarat, Nasik and Nanded towns in Maharashtra, and Orissa in the east.
It seems , now , that the rains will drastically taper off in the flood affected states.
North will be much drier, and Maharashtra and Gujarat too will get some relief.
But, the IMD forecasted low in the bay next week is to be watched, before bidding farewell to the monsoons !
kapadias@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The much anticipated low in the bay has formed, and as discussed , intensified into a depression as on the morning of the 16th, and further into a deep depression by the same evening. Now that translate into very heavy rains, upto 250mms, in Orissa and parts of Chattisgarh, during the next 2 days. Paradeep in Orissa has already recorded 16cms. and several other places between 9-11cms. today.
The D.D. is expected to cross the Orissa coast by the night of the 16th., its centre was just 50 kms from the coast as on 17.30 IST.and move westwards towards M.P.
Meanwhile, the Upper Air Circulation over Gujarat since Sunday, is still persisting over the region. As a result, very heavy rains hs been recorded over several cities in Gujarat and Konkan. Very heavy rainfall of 20cms was recorded at Junagadh in Saurashtra region. Some stations in Saurashtra have had almost 250mm-300mm in the last 48hrs.
Now, the monsoon still may not relent. As mentioned earlier, the much delayed West Pacific Typhoon activity may yet throw up another system in the bay. ECMWF has forecasted another low in the region around the 24th. May not intensify much, but will certainly prolong the rainy spell over the heartland a little longer.

Meanwhile, the highly active bay, in the last 2 weeks, has concentrated on the formation of systems around the central bay area, which subsequently cross the Indian coast on the Orissa shoreline. This has resulted in most of the rain pouring down north of Karnataka and caused a slowing down of the precipitation over the southern peninsula.
Extreme northern regions of the country too, have had no rainfall due to the absence of W.D.s. No W.D. can be expected now, for a week, as back to back lows are crossing across the central regions.
Since the systems from the bay are moving along the monsoon trough axis, that is across central India, the regions above and below the "path" can remain comparitvely "rain free."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Point by Point follow-up from the write up of 9th.Sept.

1. The low from the bay crossed the A.P. coast on the 11th. and moved along the axis of the monsoon trough, and subsequently produced heavy rain along its path in Maharashtra,Gujarat and A.P. Then, on the 12th., it merged with the low over Maharashtra, and on the 13th. morning was over central Maharashtra. The happenings are a day or two later than predicted.

Temperatures in north Maharashtra came down drastically due to this. It was 23c(-7) at Aurangabad and 24c at Nasik in the day on 13th..(see map).

2.The system now seems to be moving north-west. Expected over Gujarat coast by 14th. Heavy rains have already commenced over Gujarat.

3. Now, the map also shows the heat searing on the sindh coast at 42c. Since the last 2 days its been at 42c. This may "invite" the system, at whatever strenght, to proceed towards the "heat low" created over the sindh coast.


As hoped, the system has travelled thru the deficit regions of Marathwada. The deficit in these regions is now getting wiped out, and the rain total is fast reaching the normal level.

The next forecasted low is expected in the bay by the 15th. This , is predicted to become a depression, and cross the Indian east coast. This will surely drench the northern peninsula region, with the possibility of Maharashtra and M.P. getting a major share of the precipitation initially.

Well, surely, the withdrawal of the monsoon is now pushed back. Two back to back systems from the bay, in the fag end of the season, has reversed the withdrawal as the monsoon trough has suddenly become active again.

With Typhoon Sinlaku being followed by another Tropical Storm 16W in the west Pacific, possibily we could yet see another system in the bay around the 21st. This "last moment" bursts of storms in the Pacific may prove to be a bonus for the monsoon rains. Specially when in the 1st. week of September, it almost seemed the monsoon was on its way out.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"The weather has changed"--in effect the "sort of " receding monsoon symptoms have stopped at Rajasthan. The winds have re-grouped, as mentioned in the previous blog, to form a low in the bay. The widhdrawal phase, fortunately has been postponed.
The low in the bay, off the Orissa coast, as on the evening of 9th., supplimented with a "low"circulation over Maharashtra, has literally pulled the monsoon axis to the 22N level, and normal easterlies have resumed over the region north of the trough, that is over U.P., M.P. and nort-west India.
The bay low and the Maharashtra low have produced widespread rains over all of Maharashtra, south Gujarat regions north Karnataka and A.P.
Now, predictions show that: 1. The bay low will move inland and travel along the monsoon trough, till, say in one day,before it merges with the low over Mahrashtra. Result: Heavy rains all over Maharashtra, M.P., A.P. Karnataka, and south Gujarat on the 9th.,10th.
2. The system is expected to move north-west, and cross into the Arabian Sea and move towards the Sindh coast, before fizzling out. Result: Rains and strong winds off north Maharashtra /south Gujarat coast on the 11th. Good rains in south Gujarat and Saurashtra regions on the 10/11th.
3. Rains subsequently can move towards the sindh coast by the 11th. and decline as the system fizzles out there.
4. We may yet see the other depression forecast by the ECMRWF by the 15th of this month.
The current change may prove to be a boon for the deficit regions of Marathwada and the mid September rains will boost the water table in the dry regions of Gujarat.
kapadias@gmail.com


Saturday, September 06, 2008

A fairly active W.D. has moved across northern subcontinent, and precipitated good rains in the region and snow on the mountains. In Pakistan, heavy rains in the north-east has occured, but the rains may be restricted to that region, as the W.D. moves away. Local fall in temperatures in the far north can be expected.
A steady drizzle brought down the temperature in Srinagar by several degrees, giving the residents the first feel of impending winter. an overall drop in day temperatures today, due to the W.D. is seen in the map from University of Cologne.
The normal temperature today was whopping 7°C less than the normal. The resort of Gulmarg, and other higher reaches had the first snowfall of this season. In H.P., heavy hailstorms lashed the hilly region.

This system has distanced itself from the southerly monsoon currents, but southwards, the monsoon south-westerlies are making a "final attempt" to re-group. A weak orderly south-west wind has re-formed along the central and western areas of India, as seen in the IMD 925hpa map. Also, due to regrouping, overnite changes in model predictions are made.

-The IMD forecasts a low in the bay by the 7th. and some rain as a result along the regions west of the low crossing the east coast. On the crossing of the predicted low inland, the west coast, and ghat stations of M'shwar/Lonavala can get sudden heavy precipitation, around Tuesday/Wednessday (9th./10th.).

-This is enforced by COLA, which predicts, (most probably the same low), to cross into the Arabian Sea. Resultantly, a low vortex is forecasted off the coast of Karnatak/Maharashtra around the 9th. Result: Heavy rains along the coast and ghats on these days.

-Meanwhile, the ECMRWF also forecasts a depression crossing the A.P. coast around the 15th. If true to forecast, much more rain can be expected by the 15th./16th. in the states directly in the path of the depresiion. ( could be north westwards from the A.P. coast, as indicated by the forecast model).



Again, if true to forecast, my estimate of the monsoon widhrawal date should be extended ( stands much to the benefit of the entire peninsula region).


If the above systems do not materialise, or , if the recent regrouping is weak and temporary (we hope not), the ensuing northerly dipping trough (W.D.), is going to push the monsoon axis southwards really fast.











Wednesday, September 03, 2008



The monsoon seems determined to move out early, at least it has started from the Rajasthan region after leaving the sindh areas. The IMD 925hp. streamlines show distinct north-westerlies over the Rajasthan area and a "westerly disturbance" trough over Pakistan. Indications of clear "drying up" of the region is seen in the IMD humidity map showing a reduction in the humidity over Rajasthan. The state has not had any rain for the last 7 days now, supporting a widhrawal.


A line of wind discontinuity has formed over central India, (seen in the map above) caused by the north-westerly/south westerly winds, which may bring down the monsoon axis faster.

As anticipated, the day temperatures have started rising in Rajasthan/Gujarat, and I expect them to rise by the 2nd. week to 40c levels. ities in Sindh may see the days go upto 42c !

Northern Gulf regions have seen a sudden spurt in day temperatures, with Mutrba in Kuwait at 51c, and Dubai regions around 40/41c. Expect the heat to wane away after a week, with the westerly winds expected to gain by then.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

In line with the assesment in the previous blog of 26th., there is no further positive development to halt the receding monsoon.


1. The monsoon trough has got even more disorganised, and is now over the Himalayas, almost non-effective. The westhern end of the trough is shifting eastwards.

2. The streamline from Imd shows the Pakistan region as having a north-south trough-not a monsoon trough- and the winds are looping along the trough. North-west India has started getting the "widhrawal" north-west winds.

3. The 200hpa. jet streams, are recurving along the Rajasthan area, and are at present weak over the central India region. In order that the monsoon sustains, they should be strong in a easterly direction.

4. Thunderstorm activity has started over the north Maharashtra/Gujarat areas. Marathwada had heavy thunderstorm rains-5to 8cms. today.

These are indications of a receding monsoon- from the north-west India-due to the absence of any organised monsoon low or depresiions forming. (Though a low vortex is expected to form in the Lakshdweep region in a couple of days, it will produce rain in coastal Karnatak/Kerala for a day or two. It will soon fizzle out at around 15N region by the 3/4th. September. The monsoon widhrawal will still continue in the north.)

Now, I anticipate, the monsoon to recede from Rajasthan in the 1st. week, and thence from Gujarat.

The coming week will result in "hit and miss" heavy thunderstorms in Rajasthan, moving south to Gujarat and Maharashtra. At this rate, the monsoon may widhraw from Gujarat by 2/3 week of September.

The 2nd. week of September should see a sudden rise in temperatures from the "non monsoon regions". Day temperatures could shoot up to 40c in Rajasthan and some cities of Gujarat around mid September.

Mumbai will get a few thunderstorms in the evenings, and if the receding trend continues, monsoon may leave Mumbai/north Maharashtra around the 15th.





Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The south west monsoon seems to be making a hasty retreat, from its normal widhdrawal region. Its the last week of August, and , according to the winds and the north-south trough over Pakistan, the monsoon seems to have already retreated from the region west of the international border. the Iran/Pakistan coast is getting north-south winds from the land to sea, thus raising the temperatures in region, with Norkundi at 42c.The 925hpa streamline shows a disorganised monsoon trough.
Cola, forecasts a diminishing of rainfall over Rajasthan in the last week of August and a lessening of rains over Gujarat and regions around west M.P. and north Maharashtra in the first week of September. Also, the jet streams at 200hpa levels, show signs of weakening, and forming a high over India at 30N, thus collaborating with the view that the monsoon trough is disintegrating. The west- east jet streams is approaching the 30N region, that is moving south.

If the scene prevails, we are to see a widhrawal of the monsoon from the north-west in the next 10 days, about a week before schedule.



Friday, August 22, 2008

My Camp with BNHS to Ladakh: 10th - 18th.August 2008
Ladakh lies in a rain shadow region of the east Kashmir Himalayas with most of the region above 3000 metres. The low rainfall results in a barren "moonscape" and the river valleys are green belts surrounded by snow peaks. The snow peaks, towering 5000-7000 metres, change colour with the changes in the weather and the different hues of the sunrays highlight the peaks.
The people are friendly and mostly follow the Buddhist religion. Refugees from Tibet have swelled the local population, as they find the climate and culture similar to home.
The avifauna is more Palaearctic than Oriental. The diversity of birds is not much as in other parts of India, but some specific species are interesting and worth seeing.
Our first day was at Leh, the capital. It is important to acclimatise for the first 24hrs. as the pressure is low and oxygen in the air is 30% lower than at sea level.
For visitors to Leh, strolling in the local bazaar, observing the varied crowd and looking into the curio shops is an entrancing experience.
In the other direction from the bazaar, around the foot of the palace hill, are the stalls of the Tibetan traders, where you can bargain for pearls, turquoise, coral, and many other semi precious stones.
The palace is in the grand tradition of Tibetan architecture and a miniature version of the Potala in Lhasa. It had 9 storeys, but is now dilapidated and deserted.
Next day was the Hemis Gompa. This largest monastery in Ladakh was built in 1630. It is 45 kms from Leh. It is impressive and different from the other monasteries in Ladakh.
Thiksey monastery was next on the list. It is a fine example of Ladakhi architecture. The main prayer hall has a 15 mts. (50 feet) high-seated Buddha. This 12-storey monastery complex contains many stupas, statues, wall paintings and pillars engraved with Buddha's teachings.
The Indus ghat was another site we visited on the first day.
Day 2 was a trip to the highest motorable road/pass in the world. Khardung La, at 18380 feet, was cold and we experienced a mild snowfall on arrival. A beautiful site with snow all over and near freezing temperatures kept everyone huddled in the canteen, sipping hot Maggi soup.
Camp at the Hemis National Park was memorable. Named after the famous monastery, this park is spread out over 600 sq. kms. It has an altitudinal range of 3300-6000 metres. It is in the catchments of the lower Zanskar river, and part of it is the Sumdah Valley. An abundant treasure of natural beauty with mountains, flatlands, deserts and the fast flowing Indus.
The Park is famous for its rare Snow Leopard, though we were not lucky enough. Our sightings were the Bharal, Ladakh Urial, Tibetan Fox and commonly seen birds like Himalayan Magpie, Citrine Wagtails, Rose Finches, Shrikes, Sparrowhawk, Golden Eagle, Redstarts of 2 types, plenty of Warblers and Hill Pigeons. The Chukar Partridge was an added attraction.
The camp at Tso Moriri was a tough one. This lake, in the Rupshu Valley is at a height of 4500 mtrs. with the most inhospitable weather conditions. We had to brave a night of freezing temperatures along with gale force winds at almost 70 kmph. (Wind chill factor becomes almost -5c). This lake is the breeding ground of Bar Headed Geese. Also seen around the lake were Ruddy Shelduck, Brown Headed Gulls, Sand Plovers, Ibis Bill, Stilts, Terns,
Alpine Swifts, Oriental Dove, Red /Yellow Billed Choughs, Tickells Leaf Warbler and plenty of Hoopoes and Larks. On the way to and from the Tso Moriri we saw the Black Necked Crane. (There are strict directions not to disturb them) the Lammergeyer and the Common Merganser. In the nearby smaller lakes were the Pied Avocets and Northern Pintails.
On the way back to Leh, along the Manali-Leh Highway, we spotted herds of Yaks, Zhos, Tibetan Wild Ass, plenty of Marmots and Pashmina Sheep. We cross the second highest pass in the world, the Tanala La Pass at around 17000 feet and enter the homestretch to Leh.
The fascination of the place, the people, the wildlife and the landscape are reasons enough to venture there and the pictures speak for themselves at this link.

Your views awaited at kapadias@gmail.com

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ladakh is the ultimate test for a weather enthusiast ! How difficult it is to predict a days weather is demonstrated by our waking up to a dull gloomy morning at Leh on a Tuesday. The morning temperature being about 12c, you set out accordingly, seeing the low stratus grey clouds. Noon sees bright sunshine, clear with some cumulus clouds, and temperature at lunch time around 25c. Around tea time at 4 p.m. clouds and fog again envelope the hill station and a sharp drop in the real feel temperature is experianced due to strong winds and dust blowing. Late night there was a mild thunderstorm. Next morning clear ! Now this happens in the region without any forecasted system or formations. No weather sysytem or real movements can be predicted. Its all local weather and occurs due to the topography. At one of our camps based at 15000ft., we had evening winds blowing at gale force, almost at 80kmph, and coupled with mild snow, the real feel was unbearable !
Coming back to the sub continent monsoon scene, ast week saw the depression moving across central India. The highlight was the rain in Mahableshwar. On the 10th. and 11th. this station had 44cms. and 49cms of rain on each day respectively! This beats the highest ever rain in a day at Mahableshwar. The previous record was 462mms in a day. I am not able to get the exact amount in mms of the 11th. but 49cms certainly beats the record.
The scene now seems to be looking a bit subdued for the next 8 days. The monsoon trough having moved northwards, and the next low in the bay at least 6/7 days away, rainfall seems on the wane throughout India and the subcontinent for the next 7 days. West coast and Maharashtra seem to in for much drier weather for the weekend, and Mumbai too should have a dry weekend.
We can await a system to emerge in the bay from the latest typhoon, Nuri, in the west Pacific, maybe around 26th. This system is very necassary, as, according to me, it should keep the monsoon "alive" and prevent the reversal of winds ( meaning the W.D.s gaining strenght), in the northwestern sector of the subcontinent.


Link to Ladhak album here

Friday, August 08, 2008

The weak low mentioned in the previous blog moved fast inland from the east coast of India and fizzled out. But not before pouring good amounts of rain along the west coast and the ghat stations of Maharashtra. Mahableshwar got very good rains during the week and the seasonal total is fast getting to the normal figure. The Mahableshwar total is just short of 3000mms as of 8th. morning.
The other low forecasted is now "more marked" and is positioned off the Oriisa coast on 8th. evening. It is possible for the system to gain strenght and move north-west. A slight difference in the monsoon trough position, than anticipated, is seen though. I had estimated the trough to remain in its normal position, but, since yesterday, the western end has moved northwards. As a result, heavy rains were experianced in the Punjab and Delhi on Friday.
Hence, the weekend will see heavy rains in Orissa, M.P.,Maharashtra, Delhi and Punjab,and good rains in Gujarat from Sunday, due to the system moving north-west, and the trough off the west coast developing a vortex near the north Maharashtra/Gujarat coast by the weekend. For Mumbai, it will be a wet weekend.
From the 9th., I will be going to Ladakh, with the BNHS camp, hence will be almost out of touch with the weather developments. All of us will be admiring the environmental beauty and nature at its best there. Ladakh camping will be a different world, without internet and mobiles. Shall be back at the blog, with snaps, on the 20th.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The result of the "surprise" W.D. mentioned in the last blog has been sudden and useful rains in Rajasthan and Sind, besides several areas of north-west sub continent. The image below justifies this.
Also, as expected, the normal July rains continued all along the trough line, running thru central India, which included the regions of Gujajrat, Maharashtra, M.P. and southern states of Karnatak and A.P. Resultantly, with good rainfall around Marathwada and A.P.,the deficit rainfall ares are racing towards normalcy.


Image shows the accumalated rainfall of the last 3 days.


I thank Cmdr. Potey from Lonavala for providing me with the rain amounts of Lonavala. The rain at Lonavala which was in the deficit upto 25th. July, suddenly raced towards normal levels, and by the end of July, the total rain from 1st. June there was 2424mms ! Short of Mahableshwar by about 150mms only !
Today, 0n 5th.August, a low pressure is moving fast after entering the east coast of India. It is weakening fast, and is expected to move along the trough line. (The streamline map above shows the troughline as joining the two lows across cental India). Good and moderately heavy rains are expected in the next 2 days along this line, with the west coast, north of kerala, to get rather heavy rains from Wednasday thru Friday. Mumbai may get very heavy rain about Thursday.
After this, a new low is expected on the 9th. in the bay, off the north A.P./Orissa coast. It should move along along the same lines as the current low, as I expect the monsoon trough to remain around the same region for the next 15 days.
A good summing up of the next weeks rain is shown by Ashokbhai in his forecast at http://www.gujaratweather.com/




Thursday, July 31, 2008

After last week's rain, the "yellow" patch over Marathwada has vanished, the" scanty" region is now in the "deficient" zone. Marathwada is still "red", but slightly better, and the konkan belt has gone in the "green" zone. Overall India deficient is still at -2%.
The system bringing this much needed relief has now moved westward, and is now as a weak system over the Arabian region. Some cloudyness and light rain could be expected on Friday in Oman, Dubai and east Arabian Peneinsula.

Now, for some unexpected change of scene. The heat wave in the Central Asian region has produced a W.D., in the upper air, and a line of wind discontinuity over Pakistan.
Map shows a weak sea level low over central India. The monsoon trough line is right thru central India, and runs from the 22N region almost horizontal (seen joining the 2 lows).

Result forecast for next 2/3 days(1st week Aug): Increased rain in the northwest and north Indian regions and rain shifting back to north Pakistan. Since the trough is at 22N, and the south west current as seen in the map is strong, "normal" rains will occur in the states of M.P.,Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and subdued over T.N. and Kerala. Lonavala and Mahableshwar will get "normal" showers in the first week, not exceeding 20-50mms/day. Rains in India have shifted north from today (31st).

Resultantly, the bay low is again pushed off, and can form after the moving away of the W.D.



Monday, July 28, 2008

At last the parched regions of south Pakistan are scheduled to get some rain in the next two days from monday.
The "God sent"upper air circulation has moved across the border into the sindh area. Though short lived, this will surely introduce the first rains into the region (Karachi included). As the monsoon trough will now remain south at its normal position, with its western end into sindh, the south/central Pakistan areas will continue to get cloudy weather with fair showers into the first week of August.
The upper air circulation forming over M.P. on Thursday (25th), rapidly moved across westwards, and at the time of writing, on Monday evening, lies on the Gujarat/sindh border.
In India, the much needed dry regions of Gujarat, Maharashtra and north A.P. got the required relief by way of fairly good showers on the weekend. Though the interiors of Maharashtra required much more than the 20-25mms of rain it got per day on Saturday/Sunday (26th./27th.), it was a matter of the rains actually "starting" for the season in areas of marathwada and south Maharashtra.
The north Maharashtra coast recieved good rains, with Mumbai getting a drenching with about 470mms in 3 days upto Monday evening. Roha was highest with 370mms in 24hrs. ended Monday morning.
In the northern regions of the sub continent, it remained fairly devoid of rains as expected.
The suddenly formed upper air system, at 500-700hpa, may have delayed the formation of the low in the bay by a couple of days.
It can now be expected to form in the bay by the 31st. ,and move westwards into the states of central India. The system could be expected to get to some intensity, as this year, the bay has not produced a seasonal depression since the 18th. of June, and June/July are normally expected to throw up at least 2 per month.
First week of August will see the precipitation of good rains in Orissa, M.P.,Maharashtra and Gujarat.
kapadias@gmail.com

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The western coast of India has got some revived rains today,Thursady. Mumbai had 65mm during the day, and many stations along the coast 30-50mms. The off shore trough, a result of the monsoon trough surely shifting southwards, is the cause of this revival.
Another sign of the trough going southwards is the decrease in rains in the foothills ,and a rise in temperatures in north India.(Gangapur was 42c today).
Rains in northern Pakistan too will lessen and as the trough's western end moves down, some rains may come to central regions. For the south of Pakistan, the rains will arrive with the westerly movement of the bay low, or a sudden dip in the western end of the monsoon trough.
Now, as per our last assessment, the next stage should be the immediate formation of a low in the bay. IMD has estimaed this to form by the 27th. Once this is in place, the complete central region and northern peninsula states should get good rainfall. Yesterday, a heartening feature was a solid 102mm of rain in "rain starved " Solapur.


The rain map as on 23rd.July defines the "north/south" divide mentioned earliar. The diagonal line division of the excess/normal/deficient regions is clear in the map. The overall rain in the country has now slipped into the negative, -2 %.
It is now hoped the deficient areas get some rain with the current wave of rain coming.

Monday, July 21, 2008

In my last blog, the elusive system from the bay was discussed, and I had thought, it could be expected to form in the begining of this week(monday21st.). well, it is still elusive, as on today,21st. The monsoon trough today has its western end in north Pakistan, runs along U.P., then thru west Bengal runs thru Nagaland with its its eastern end in the north-eastern states.
As a result, we have rains continuing in north Pakistan. But the rains are yet to begin in the south of Pakistan, with Karachi having got only traces of rain for the season as of today.
Rains today are good in U.P. Bengal and the north-eastern states of India.
However, the rains still play truant in the rain starved states south of M.P./Rajasthan level.
Now, for some hope of positive developments.
According to the international forecast models, A system could form in the central bay, around 15N, by this weekend, around 25th, and progress towards the Orissa/A.P. coast. It may not strenghten enough to move inland. But, I think it can bring and pull the monsoon trough southwards towards its normal position, that is across central India.
Consequently, as the low forms in the bay, by Friday,25th. we can expect increased rainfall along the west coast, specially the Karnataka/Maharashtra coast and in Mahableshwar and Lonavala.
On the trough taking its normal position, rains can resume in central India and the interior regions of Maharashtra and the southern /central peninsula from Sunday/Monday (27th./28th.).
Hence, after the 25th.,and before the month end, it is possible to see a revival of the monsoon in the effected states of Gujarat,Maharashtra, A.P., Karnataka and to some extent Kerala.
As the western end of the trough will be over south Pakistan by the 28th. of this month, sindh and Karachi can expect its first rains by then.
kapadias@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 16, 2008












The above 2 diagrams show the severity of the rain deficiency in the interiors of Maharashtra. It will not be possible to show many cities, but the 2 which I have repeatedly mentioned are shown, that is Aurangabad and Sholapur. Aurangabad shows only 2 really "rainy" days,with another 3/4 days of very little rain (1-3mms), in the last 30 days. The other diagram of Solapur shows only 2 days of rain,that too less than 5mms, in the last 1 month. The entire Marathwada and south madhya Maharashtra are heavily deficient.
The overall map of India in this aspect will be out tomorrow, when the IMD issues the weekly report.


Kerala too is in the red. This diagram of the rain in Trivandrum depicts the large shaded area as deficient.

Meanwhile, the situation as now is a bit more positive. A trough along the Karnataka/Kerala coast has formed, and is likely to remain intact for the next few days. Thus, the regions of coastal Karnataka/Kerala is likely to get rain for a couple of days.
Some models predict a low in the bay by the 18th. As per forecasts, this system is expected to cross the heartland of India thru Orissa,M.P.,Gujarat during the ensuing two days.19th./20th. If it is strong enough, this system can move into south coastal Pakistan subsequent to crossing thru India.
On the forming of a low, it will benefit the the regions of M.P.and Gujarat along with north Maharashtra with the much needed rains (hill stations of the western ghats too can hope for a reveval with this). Can provide some relief the rain deficit areas of Maharashtra.
But, the actual low has to first form. Not all models are in uniformity with this forecast. I am not too sure of a low forming by so soon. Wind developments show, according to me, of a low at a slightly later date, maybe by next week.(around 21st./22nd.).
With this low, the monsoon trough will move southwards to its normal position, thus it can change the entire rain pattern prevailing now.

Monday, July 14, 2008

1. The monsoon trough has now "snuggled" into the Himalayan foothills. The eastern end runs thru Bangladesh into the north-east states. Ridge of high pressure seen in south-east Arabian Sea.
2. The rain will therefore be restricted to the states of Punjab, U.P.,Jharkhand,Bihar,Bengal and north-east. Flooding danger in east U.P.
3. Remaining south/central regions will be comparitively dry.
4. Deficit has spread to the west coast south of konkan,extreme deficit seen in Marathwada,adjoining A.P.,Kerala.
5. No emerging low seen in the bay till Friday,at least. Hence no change in rainfall pattern in affected areas till Friday/Saturday. Warmer conditions expected in Maharashtra/Gujarat, Karnataka and interior A.P. on Tuesday/Wednesday (15th./16th.).
6. As western end of the trough runs into northPakistan, rain to continue in northern regions of Pakistan. Central and south may remain dry thru this week.
7. Abnormally long period of break condition due to inactive bay. Resultant of dull west Pacific typhoon season and active W.D. season in the northern most regions.
kapadias@gmail.com

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yesterday, a low coming in from the eastern M.P. region moved in fast and poured heavy rain in scattered pockets all along the regions of M.P,Gujarat and Rajasthan. Regions of normally sparce rainfall like Jaipur, Chittorgarh and Jodhpur in Rajashtan got heavy rains from 90-220 mms. It has advanced the monsoon into the remaining parts of the country and moved the monsoon into east Pakistan region. The remains of the system may give some rain now to the sindh region, including Karachi.

But, just as fast it came, the low is fizzling out in the deserts of west Rajasthan and Sindh. It has brought some relief to the regions going towards deficiency.

The rain map on 9th. July shows the area south of M.P. as deficient, with a pocket in central Maharashtra as extremely deficient, and the western states as normal. The entire northern belt is excessive in rain. The rainfall pattern is moving towards a "north-south" divide.

I quote from the latest report of the MF Global Weather Inc.
“Weather over
the next ten days to two weeks looks to be drier than
usual across much of southern and western India and that
will perpetuate the drier bias further delaying some
summer planting. Early seeded crops have likely not
established well and the next few weeks will be critical for
getting significant rain into the region to avoid noticeable
cuts in production potential”
• Further, World Weather Inc opines that “The combination
of sea surface temperature anomalies and lingering La
Nina will result in lighter than usual July rainfall in Tamil
Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, southernmost Maharashtra, Kerala
and Karnataka – basically the same southern crop areas
that were drier than usual in June will be dry again during july."

(I reproduce a section of my blog of 29th. May:"Also seeing the current situation, the fast vanishing La-nina, and the "slipping" SOI index, it may be difficult, in certain areas, for the monsoon rains to be normal this year. There may be some delay and below normal rains in June/early July. Hence the initial period of June/July will have to be watched and followed closely for regions in western and central India.)


This report needs a lot to think over and take effective remedial steps at this stage for crops, power and water planning, seciaqlly in Kerala,Maharashtra,Gujarat and Karnatak.

The situation, as per almost all weather models show no signs of any low or system forming in the next week, that is upto 18th.July. The monsoon rains in the next week will be confined to the northern/eastern states and coastal Orissa. Now, with the soil already saturated, the threat of flooding in these states will be more in July than June.

Hence, I quote from the MF report in conclusion:"
A close monitoring of weather in to south Maharashtra into
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka over the next two weeks will
be warranted, especially since computer forecasts are still
downplaying rain potentials during the next two weeks.
• Portions of Gujarat and far western Madhya Pradesh have
had their bouts of below average rainfall, too, this summer
and they are about to enter another period without much
rain. Recent rain has improved soil moisture in these two
areas and that will help provide adequate crop development
potential until a better period of rain evolves later this month."
Thanks to Ashokbhai for sending the report.


Monday, July 07, 2008

There is nothing much to write between my last blog of 4th. and this. If one reads thru the previous blog, the situation is almost the same ,and we have to wait till around the 11th.,as discussed then, for the much elusive Bay low. The low today over the Bangladesh coast is still too weak and much of it over the land area to actually prove effective.
Yes, and the deficit is growing in all the peninsula states, Gujarat, and the central region. (Aurangabad in Marathwada has reached a deficit of 75%).
Excess rain still holds good in the line along the trough, that is, Punjab, U.P.,Delhi, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Today,heavy rains held on to the western end of the trough, with Islamabad (Pakistan) getting 270mms in the last 2 days, and Jammu recieving 99mms today. The map shows how scanty the rains have been in the rest of the sub continent today. (The map shows rain from 5.30 a.m. till 5.30 p.m. on 7th.).
Also, its time now the western end of the monsoon trough pushes its way westwards into west Rajasthan and Sindh,Pakistan, to precipitate the much needed monsoon rains there.

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