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

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