Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Deficient snow last winter and the unusual rise in temperatures this summer could bring down the seed potato production in Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh by 25-30 percent, officials here say.
The landlocked Lahaul valley is one of India's major disease-free seed potato-producing regions, with more than 90 percent of the produce going to potato-growing states like West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka.
'The lack of adequate snowfall during winter and abnormal rise in temperatures this summer have badly hit the seed potato crop. The total production would be 25-30 percent lower than last year,' agriculture deputy director J.S. Chauhan told IANS.
Total production this season will be around 120,000 bags of 50 kilograms each, considerably less than last year's 160,000 bags, he said.
Lahaul valley is known for producing pest-resistant Kufri Chandramukhi and Kufri Jyoti varieties of seed potatoes.
Amar Chand Dogra, acting managing director of the Lahaul Seed Potato Growers Cooperative Marketing Ltd that is run by the farmers of the valley, confirmed that the potato crop has been affected this season due to unfavourable weather.
'Lack of snowfall during winter has lessened moisture content in the soil during the sowing season (May-June). And then the rise in temperature in summer affected propagation of the crop,' Dogra said.
Farmer Singhi Ram of Keylong, the district headquarters, said while potato sowing is generally over by mid-June, it has been delayed this year due to the lack of rains. 'The situation was further aggravated by continuous dry spells,' he added.
Added Suresh Kumar, another farmer: 'Our livelihood is dependent on potatoes. We get just one crop a year (as the area is covered with massive snowfall almost six months). If such situation continues, we will be forced to switch over to the cultivation of peas and hops.'
Himachal Pradesh has received 33 percent less rainfall this monsoon. 'The overall monsoon was below average in most parts of the state,' said meteorological department director Manmohan Singh.
Abhijit Ghosh, a trader from Kolkata, said the demand of Lahaul's seed potatoes was quite high as the crop had been damaged extensively in Karnataka, West Bengal and Bihar due to a late blight disease.
'We are here to buy blight-resistant potato seeds, but the output here is not adequate. Even the crop quality has been affected this time,' he said.
The arrival of the potato crop in the market would continue till mid-November. Currently, wholesale prices of seed potato at Keylong are hovering between Rs.1,000 and Rs.1,200 for a 50-kilogram pack.
Around 2,000 farmers in the Lahaul valley cultivate potatoes over 900 hectares. The other cash crops in the region are peas, cauliflower and hops, besides fruit crops like apple, pear, apricot, almond and plum.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Latest GFS for 5-Oct shows a Depression near Mumbai and south-Gujarat coast.
Our present LOW near north-coastal Andhra will cross the peninsula and intensify after touching Arabian sea.
During that time (5-Oct-09) we can see the south-East BAY is Cooking up for the CYCLONE season.
We (Chennai and Tamilnadu) might get the North-East showers earlier around 6th or 7th of OCT, if the Depression over North-Arabian Sea intensifies.
We'll keep it updated.
A low-pressure area spinning up over west-central Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood on Monday persisted around the same region towards the evening, according to an update from India Meteorological Department (IMD).
According to a senior official of the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, the system was located on or just off the Andhra Pradesh coast and was expected to move very slowly to the west.
While doing so, it is expected to intensify at least one round into a well-marked 'low', he said; there is even an outside chance it could ramp up to a depression, given the slow grind.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and a host of other international weather models project the system as meandering across the peninsula to emerge into the Arabian Sea around October 3.
The Bay 'low' set up the western-most front of a massive trough of low pressure spanning the Bay of Bengal and extending into the adjoining Indo-China, the South China Sea and the west Pacific.
Apart from the 'low' in the Bay, the trough is hosting at least three distinct areas of turbulence - raging Typhoon Ketsana in the South China Sea and Tropical Depressions No 18 and 19 in the west Pacific, east of the Philippines.
Ketsana is expected to make landfall over Vietnam in the next 24 hours, according to the London-based Tropical Storm Risk Group. It may go on to 'lit up' the Bay for one more time, says the ECMWF.
The fresh 'low' may form off the Andhra Pradesh coast by October 1 and travel in a west-northwest direction to emerge into the Arabian Sea by October 5.
This could trigger another round of widespread to fairly widespread showers all over the peninsula, according to forecasts available on Monday.
The late-September activity in the Bay of Bengal is not exactly unusual but does not jell with a situation where an ongoing El Nino in the equatorial central and east Pacific has already spoilt the just-concluding monsoon.
The Climate Prediction Centre (CPS) of the US National Weather Services attributed this to tropical sub-seasonal variability (climate variations that recur in cycles) that cannot be predicted accurately.
Meanwhile, the IMD has forecast isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over Andaman and Nicobar Islands, coastal Orissa, West Bengal and coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next two days.
Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely over Konkan, Goa and Madhya Maharashtra during the next two daysand increase thereafter. Mainly dry weather will prevail over central India during this phase but isolated rain or thundershowers are likely thereafter.
Satellite pictures on Monday showed convective clouds over many parts of Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea, Orissa and West Bengal. The three days ending October 3 areforecast to witness scattered to fairly widespread rain fall activity with isolated heavy falls over the west coast and peninsular India.
Towards the north, the monsoon has withdrawn from the entire Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, many parts of Rajasthan and some parts of Uttarakhand, west Uttar Pradesh and north Gujarat.
On Monday, the withdrawal line passed through Uttarkashi, Aligarh, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur and Naliya, the IMD said.
The Chennai Met Centre said in an update that the monsoon has been active over Kerala and north interior Karnataka during the 24 hours ending on Monday morning.
Rainfall occurred at most places over north interior Karnataka; at many places over Kerala and coastal Karnataka; and at a few places over Telangana, Rayalaseema and south interior Karnataka. Isolated rainfall was reported from Tamil Nadu and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Forecast for the next two days said that rain or thundershowers are likely at many places over Kerala, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and coastal Karnataka.
Thundershowers are likely at a few places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, interior Karnataka and Rayalaseema while they will be isolated over Lakshadweep.
A warning valid for the next two days said that isolated heavy rain is likely to occur over Kerala and north coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on Friday that the Southwest monsoon has withdrawn from many parts of West Rajasthan.
The withdrawal process has been in the making for some time with the skies over Rajasthan and large parts of northwest India clearing up and the mercury consistently peaking to beyond the 40 deg Celsius.
On Friday, weather charts showed the large anti-cyclone (high-pressure area within sinking motion of air that retards cloud formation) sneaking in from across the northwest border.
The withdrawal line passed through Ganganagar, Churu, Jodhpur and Barmer. The monsoon is likely to withdraw from more parts of northwest India during the next four days in fairly fast progression.
The process could get bogged down just over central India as easterly flows from a lately activated Bay of Bengal fill large parts of peninsula and even parts of central India.
The anticipated low-pressure area is expected to materialise over the Bay by Sunday even as a much stronger system is forecast to brew over the South China Sea concurrently.
The Bay system would be forced to let go of some moisture that would feed into the stronger South China Sea system, according to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).
After walloping the Indo- China coast for a landfall, the South China Sea system could yet again set the Bay on fire, with ECMWF projecting the formation of another `low' during early October.
In this manner, the withdrawal process of the monsoon from the rest of the mainland India may get affected indefinitely.
The US National Centres for Environmental Prediction sees the whole of the peninsula and parts of central India being brought under the cover of thundershower activity until October 11, according to as per latest forecasts.
Monsoon withdrawal has already been delayed by more than 20 days owing to occasional presence of cyclonic circulations and troughs transported in by the westerly flows across northwest India.
But on Friday, towards the southeast, an upper air cyclonic circulation lay in wait over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal, an IMD update said.
Under its influence, the anticipated low-pressure area is likely to form during the next two days over west-central Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood.
Scattered rainfall activity has been forecast over the Northeastern States during the next three days before tapering off.
Fairly widespread rainfall activity with isolated heavy fall is likely over peninsular India, including Maharashtra, for five days from Saturday, the IMD update said.
Satellite pictures showed convective clouds over parts of southeast and west-central Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Forecast for the three days ending September 30 said that scattered to fairly widespread rainfall activity with isolated heavy falls is likely over the west coast and peninsular India.
An update from the Chennai Met Centre said that the monsoon has been vigorous over Karnataka during the 24 hours endeding Friday morning.
Rainfall occurred at most places over Karnataka and at a few places over Kerala. Isolated rainfall occurred over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Forecast for the next two days said that rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places over Karnataka; at many places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and at a few places over Kerala, Lakshadweep, Telangana and Rayalaseema.
Isolated rain or thundershowers has been forecast over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
A warning valid for the next two days said that isolated heavy rain is likely over coastal Karnataka and the ghat areas of south interior Karnataka.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday maintained the watch for a late-September low-pressure area to churn up the Bay of Bengal around Sunday even as the monsoon retained its token presence over the peninsula.
The weather-driving northsouth trough extended from Bihar to coastal Karnataka through Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and interior Karnataka with an embedded cyclonic circulation over Bihar.
BEVY OF TROUGHS
Alargely sea-bound trough extended south from the circulation over Bihar and adjoining West Bengal up to southwest Bay of Bengal. This will have some say in the churning of the Bay and associated birth of the `low.'
The cyclonic circulation over the east-central Arabian Sea off the Karnataka coast has become less marked as of Thursday, but a trough extended south from Konkan towards the Kerala coast.
Satellite pictures showed convective clouds over parts of the north Bay of Bengal, north Andaman Sea and east-central Arabian Sea.
An update from the Chennai Met Centre said the monsoon has been active over interior Karnataka and Rayalaseema during the 24 hours ending Thursday morning.
Rainfall occurred at many places over Kerala, Rayalaseema and interior Karnataka and at a few places over Tamil Nadu and coastal Karnataka. Isolated rainfall occurred over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The forecast for the next two days said that rain or thundershowers are likely at many places over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Rain or thundershowers are likely at many places over Kerala and coastal Karnataka and at a few places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, interior Karnataka and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely to occur over Telangana, Rayalaseema and Lakshadweep.
Given the influence of the varied meteorological features on the immediate vicinity, the IMD has forecast scattered to fairly widespread rainfall activity along the west coast and over interior south peninsular India during the next 24 hours before going into a lull.
This lull would be broken with the formation of the `low' in the Bay from when rains are forecast for peninsular and adjoining central India.
Isolated heavy rainfall is likely over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Konkan, Goa and coastal Karnataka during the next 24 hours.
The forecast for the next three days projects the possibility of fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy falls over the North-Eastern States.
The three days starting from Sunday until September-end would see the initiation of the `low' over west-central and adjoining northwest Bay. This will lead to an increase in the rainfall along the east coast, peninsular and adjoining central India.
Meanwhile, a forecast about the withdrawal of monsoons from northwest India has become uncertain with the presence of cyclonic circulations - `in situ' or those crossing in from the border.
Any declaration of the withdrawal pre-supposes the total absence of cyclonic circulations over the region and sinking motion of air associated with the setting in of the seasonal anti-cyclone that drives away clouds of any kind.
Otherwise, dry conditions have settled over the region with many places in Rajasthan recording maximum day-time temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius.
On Thursday, the IMD traced a `nuisance' cyclonic circulation over north Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir, once again preventing the monsoon withdrawal process from getting entrenched.
Meanwhile, the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) has in updated forecasts indicated that the rains over the peninsula may last as late as October 10.
The NCEP expects the churn in the Bay of Bengal to continue at least till such time, with a core wave of rainfall looking to wade its way into Sri Lanka and adjoining south Tamil Nadu and Kerala during this period.
The rest of the peninsula is expected to receive comparatively lesser amount of rain, it said.
Friday, September 25, 2009
We are at the last stages of South-west monsoon.
A new LOW pressure is taking shape now over west-central Bay and near North-coastal Andhra.
Latest satellite taken at 12pm, 25-Sep-09 shows huge cloud formation over that area.
And latest GFS models show, around 28 and 29th of september this formation will strengthen into a Depression and will cross into North-coastal Andhra.
Take a look...
During this time, the south-west coast will receive heavy last monsoon showers.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) is on the lookout has joined the watch for a low-pressure area building over the west-central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal around Sunday (September 27).
Category-5 Super Typhoon Choi-Wan and Typhoon Koppu ravaging the west Pacific and the South China Sea over the past few days, could are thought to be initiating the fresh churn in the Bay of Bengal.
The European Centre for Medium-Term Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), which had earlier last week indicated that the building Bay system could go on to intensify into as a depression, has since toned down the forecasts.
According to its latest outlook, the system may fail to rustle up the required strength due mainly to the fact that it would need to share some of its moisture fuel with a concurrently evolving weather system in the South China Sea.
This South China Sea would move westward over Indiao-China for yet another shy at the Bay of Bengal, latest ECMWF forecasts seem to suggest.
This could go on to set-up another `low', though weaker, in the Bay of Bengal around October 3.
But this would bear some watching, given the backdrop of the overall `drying' extending from the northwest, according to independent observers here.
An IMD update on Wednesday said that the ongoing thundershower activity over peninsular India could reduce in intensity ahead of the brewing 'low' on Sunday.
This would be a brief recess before rain activity picks-up along the east coast and over the peninsular and adjoining central India during early next week, the last of the season, the IMD said.
The monsoon is still about 20 per cent below the normal, and the late rains during the last week over peninsular India are not going to make any significant change to the projected overall deficit for the country as a whole. September-end could likely mark the worst drought it has faced after the benchmark 23.9 per cent deficit of 1972.
IMD forecast for the next few days said that the weather-creating north-south trough from east Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka coast ran through Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha, Telangana and interior Karnataka.
The trough features an embedded cyclonic circulation over east Uttar Pradesh. The cyclonic circulation over south interior Karnataka and neighbourhood has shifted north-northwest to over east-central Arabian Sea off the Karnataka coast. Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall activity, is likely along the west coast and over interior south peninsular India during next 24 hours, the IMD forecast said.
Fairly widespread rainfall activity with isolated heavy falls has also been forecast over the North Eastern States during the next two to three days before they taper-off.
Satellite pictures, on Wednesday, showed convective clouds over parts of north Bay of Bengal, north Andaman Sea, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and east-central Arabian Sea.
A warning valid for the next 24 hours said that isolated heavy rainfall is likely over Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Konkan, Goa and coastal Karnataka during the next 24 hours.
The Chennai Met Centre said, in an update, that the monsoon has been active over north interior Karnataka during the 24 hours ending Wednesday morning.
Rainfall occurred at many places over Kerala and north interior Karnataka and at a few places over Rayalaseema and south interior Karnataka. Isolated rainfall occurred over Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and coastal Karnataka.
Forecast for the next 48 hours said that rain or thundershowers are likely at many places over Kerala, Karnataka and at a few places over Lakshadweep.
Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, the forecast said.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Latest forecasts from the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) seem to suggest that the ongoing rains over the southern peninsula may spill over into the first week of October, if not beyond.
The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) supports this outlook with forecast for a strong low-pressure area (even a likely depression) over west-central Bay of Bengal.
The 'low' is forecast to shape up off the Andhra Pradesh coast by September 28, the ECMWF said, adding that the late-September 'low' would travel west over the peninsula bringing rain to most parts.
The outlook for September 30 (up to which forecasts were available on Sunday) posited the system smack over the Vidarbha-Telangana region backed up with solid moisture feed enough to fuel its further westward journey.
The NCEP projections point to a scenario where the system goes on to cross the west coast and emerge into the Arabian Sea and track further west-northwest.
The week from September 28 to October 6 would, thus, see the thundershower cover being extended even into central India, according to the NCEP projections.
Meanwhile on Sunday, the predominant weather-driving north-south trough ran down Bihar to the Kerala coast cutting through the east-central peninsula.
The trough continued to feature an upper air cyclonic circulation over west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal.
According to forecasts, this system could linger on waxing and waning in strength to ultimately set the ground for the larger low-pressure area.
Satellite pictures on Sunday showed convective clouds over parts of north and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal, southeast Arabian Sea, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Gangetic West Bengal and Karnataka.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its update on Sunday that the scattered to fairly widespread rainfall activity over the south peninsular India is likely persist during the next three days as well, up to which forecasts were available.
Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall activity with isolated heavy falls is also likely over the Northeastern States, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim during this period.
The three days ending September 25 (Friday) would see scattered rainfall activity over the north-eastern States. Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall activity is also forecast for parts of south peninsular India.
An update from the Regional Met Centre, Chennai, said that rainfall occurred at many places over coastal and south interior Karnataka; and at a few places over Tamil Nadu, Kerala, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema during the 24 hours ending on Sunday morning.
Isolated rainfall occurred over Telangana and north interior Karnataka.
Forecast for the next two days said that rain or thundershowers are likely at many places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, coastal Andhra Pradesh, coastal and south interior Karnataka and at a few places over Rayalaseema and Lakshadweep.
Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely to occur over Telangana and north interior Karnataka.
A warning valid for the period said that isolated heavy rain is likely over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The world is now collectively planning to build so many coal-fired power stations over the next 25 years that their lifetime carbon emissions will equal the total of all the human coal-burning activities since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
That is just one of the alarming facts to come out of the latest World Bank report on climate change, yet the energy industry is spending alarmingly little on research and development that might clean up its emissions - about 0.5 per cent of its trillion-dollar annual revenues.
No wonder the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, is urging world leaders meeting in New York at this week's global climate summit to think about the conditions that will sustain life on this planet in the future.
If we continue business as usual, as many in the energy industry appear to be doing, scientists predict we are looking at a 5 to 6 degree rise in temperature by the end of this century, creating a world few of us would want to live in.
From the World Bank to the world scientific community, we are hearing dire warnings that we must act differently, act together and act now. Yet despite this, the Prime Minister is signalling a need to "manage down" expectations for a global climate agreement in Copenhagen in December.
This comes as many in the energy industry here and around the world are lobbying hard to water down or postpone measures aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The global climate talks are bogged down in an elaborate game of chicken with the players waiting to see who will blink first. Australia, the US and Europe want countries such as India and China to make a commitment to rein in their exploding emissions. China and India first want to see the high-income nations put up the money and technological help to assist the developing world do this. They also want evidence that rich nations will make deep cuts in their own emissions.
With fewer than 80 days to Copenhagen the game is at a stand-off. But it's obvious unless we all act together everyone will lose.
The quality of life of Australians, Americans and Europeans depends utterly on persuading people in China, India, Latin America and Africa that they are serious about climate change; that they will invest the public and private money needed to transform the world's energy system and the way forests and farmlands are managed.
This will secure a better quality of life for both the developing world and us. It will mean cities from Shanghai to Cairns may escape the worst impacts of sea level rise, extreme weather and food shortages.
In exchange, the developing world must begin to slow, then reduce, its growing emissions which threaten to overwhelm the rest of us by 2050.
But the argument only rings true if wealthy countries are indeed prepared to make deep cuts to their own emissions. Without these cuts, few people believe the energy companies and their banks will be forced to invest in any real transformation.
This scepticism is understandable. In recent weeks Kevin Rudd and his Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, have led an orgy of self-congratulation over the launch of Australia's biggest new fossil fuel energy project, the Gorgon gas development. The project has been lauded as a "cleaner" energy development despite its staggering greenhouse footprint, and Ferguson says it's just the beginning of the latest gas bonanza.
The politicians praised Chevron, Exxon and Shell for their plan to bury the project's carbon emissions under the nature reserve of Barrow Island, neglecting to say it would deal with less than half of them. Also brushed aside are questions over whether the burial plan will indeed work.
In Canada, the same companies are investors in the controversial oil tar sands projects, the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in that country. To extract the lucrative oil from Canada's tar sands, the companies use vast amounts of natural gas. By 2012, it's estimated the tar sands operations will require 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to operate. The greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of tar sands oil are up to 40 per cent higher than emissions from conventional crude oil.
Yet the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and the energy companies are ferocious in their defence of the projects and their sales to energy hungry American consumers.
Little wonder Indian and Chinese officials lapse into recriminations when we argue they are not doing enough. Australians still have one of the highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions per head, around 27 tonnes, far ahead of the average Chinese or Indian citizen.
The British climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, believes by 2050, with 9 billion people on the planet, each of us will all be entitled, on average, to emit just 2 tonnes per head. These figures alone give a stark insight into why getting all sides to agree on what is a fair and equitable climate deal is so extremely difficult.
As the world leaders arrived in New York for the climate summit there were encouraging signs some understood that now is the time to "manage up" not "manage down" expectations that an ambitious deal can be sealed in Copenhagen. Because unless they begin to believe change is possible, neither the energy companies nor us, their consumers, will really believe we have to act differently, act together and act now.
It's still Monsoon-time in Bangladesh - and the rain continues to fall. Coping with flooding has already become a way of life for the resilient people living in Satkhira, southern Bangladesh, who are learning to live with the increasing impacts of climate change.
Starting today, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convening a Summit on Climate Change in New York to focus Heads of State and Government on the need for urgent action in advance of December's UN summit in Copenhagen.
High on the agenda will be the need for extra money - above existing aid commitments - to help people living in vulnerable countries, such as Bangladesh, to adapt to their changing environment.
The UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID), with the UN and others, is already helping 500,000 ordinary Bangladeshi people adapt on-the-ground by using various simple, yet innovative, methods.
These pictures were taken just a few days ago in Satkhira. They show the Bangladeshi people's resilience and determination to survive against the odds - whatever the weather brings?
DFID will spend up to £75m on helping to tackle the impacts of climate change on Bangladesh over the next five years.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Earliest available weather forecasts for October to December suggest that the northeast monsoon is likely to be normal or just below normal.
The International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society at Columbia University rules out scope for any `spectacular' show either over south peninsular India or the southeast coast.
Seasonal outlook published by the IRI, on Friday, said that October-November-December may see excess showers only over the extreme southern tip of the peninsula (southern Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Kerala).
There is no marked deviation seen from the normal for northwest India and the rest of the country except over Rajasthan where dry climate is indicated.
But mercury levels are forecast above normal for the northwest and central India, which may not benefit the Rabi crop.
November-December-January is likely to see below normal rains over the peninsula except southeast Tamil Nadu and the coast along east-central India. The rest of the country is tipped to see `climatology' features dominate (no marked deviation from the normal).
Mercury levels are forecast to stay slightly high over much of the country except eastern India.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the monsoon has been active over sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim and south interior Karnataka during the 24 hours ending Friday morning.
Isolated heavy rainfall has been forecast for sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, the northeast States and Kerala during the next two days.
Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall has been forecast over parts of south peninsular India.
The Chennai Met Centre said in its update that the monsoon has been active over south interior Karnataka.
Rainfall occurred at many places over Kerala and south interior Karnataka and at a few places over Tamil Nadu, Rayalaseema, Lakshadweep and coastal and north interior Karnataka.
Isolated rainfall occurred over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Forecast for the next two days said that rain or thundershowers are likely at many places over interior Tamil Nadu, coastal and south interior Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep; and at a few places over coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Rayalaseema.
Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely over north interior Karnataka, Telangana and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
A warning valid for the period said that isolated heavy rain is likely over interior Tamil Nadu, coastal and south interior Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep during the next two days.
Meanwhile, the north-south trough running down from sub-Himalayan West Bengal to southwest Bay of Bengal persisted.
The trough also featured two upper air cyclonic circulations over west-central Bay of Bengal and southwest Bay of Bengal.
Satellite pictures, on Friday, showed convective clouds over parts of southeast Arabian Sea, west-central and south Bay of Bengal, south Andaman Sea and the northeastern States.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has said in its outlook that south peninsular India would continue to see unsettled weather activity even beyond September 30 when the monsoon is expected to pass.
An active trough of low-pressure (not measuring up to a low-pressure area) is forecast to persist over southwest and west-central Bay of Bengal during this period, the ECMWF said in its forecasts
Saturday, September 19, 2009
For Gagan Grover, a software engineer with city-based C-DAC, cycling is not just a way of keeping fit but also a way to campaign against global warming. After cycling in and around the city, a long expedition to the country's southernmost tip, Kanyakumari is next on his itinerary. The 25-year-old is all set to cycle the 1,700 km distance from Pune to Kanyakumari, an expedition that will start on September 18 and will last 10 days in all. The trip has been partially sponsored by C-DAC and the Rotaract Club Shaniwarwada and partly by Grover himself.
"Though I've been cycling for a while now, it was only this year that I started long-distance expeditions, the first of them being my tour from Pune to Mumbai and back. Earlier, I would cycle to places around the city," said Grover.
The expedition to Kanyakumari also coincides with the World Car Free Day which falls on September 20. "My aim is to promote cycling, and the expedition provides me with a great chance to do just that. I started cycling as a hobby and have been actively promoting this sport for the last three years. I am also one of the founder members of a website dedicated to cycling," said Grover.
During the 10-day expedition, Grover plans to halt only during the nights and has even fitted in a couple of lectures on global warming that he plans to deliver at a couple of IT firms in Bangalore, including C-DAC. "My long distance cycling trip is also an awareness-cum-publicity program to promote cycling as a healthy and environment-friendly means of transport for everyone," added Grover.
Though he is part of a cycle group in the city, Grover will undertake the expedition by himself this time around. "It was difficult for everyone to get enough leave around the same time. This will be my second long solo cycling expedition after Mumbai, and I look forward to it."
Interestingly, the techie also cycles to work everyday. "I do not have any other vehicle nor do I use any other mode of transport. I cycle my way around the city. My aim is to establish cycling as a clean and alternative means of transport to fight environmental pollution," said Grover.
Once he returns from Kanyakumari, he has his goal set in the tricky Himalayan ranges. "I plan to take up a Pune-Himalayas tour next, though I have not decided a date yet," he added. Looking forward to the long tour that will take him through scenic spots in the south, Grover says he plans to enjoy the sights but his main aim remains to promote cycling. "I will also hand out pamphlets on the H1N1 flu provided to me by the Rotaract Club Shaniwarwada along the way."
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The monsoon trough continued to run close to the foothills of the Himalayas on Tuesday but the unsettled weather marked by widely separated thundershowers ruled the roost in the south peninsula. The monsoon has been vigorous in south interior Karnataka during the 24 hours ending Tuesday morning, according to an update.
TROUGH IN EAST
While the alignment of the monsoon trough indicated little or nil activity over northwest India, a weather-maker north-south trough ran down along the country's eastern corridor. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) update said that the latter trough cut a wedge from Bihar to south Tamil south coastal Tamil Nadu through Jharkhand, Orissa and coastal Andhra Pradesh. Moisture-laden easterlies empty their contents into this trough raising the moisture levels, which combine with the ambient temperature to set up thundershowers and cloudbursts in the region. This is being replicated along the west coast as well, resulting in localised heavy falls, the likes of which have been reported from Mumbai as well as parts of western Maharashtra. This is expected to continue till such time as the dry climes pushing in from the extreme western parts of the country bring the monsoon withdrawal line following not too far from behind. The IMD has not given any hint as to the advance of the `Big Dry' since the known meteorological events associated with the event have not materialised in their entirety.
The withdrawal of the monsoon is more gradual than its onset and is characterised by the reduction in overall rainfall; decay of the anti-cyclonic circulation established over the Tibetan Plateau during monsoon; and the reappearance of the upper-level westerly jet stream south of the Himalayas. On ground, parts of Rajasthan and adjoining Gujarat are already witnessing elevated mercury levels even as thundershowers line up over the peninsula. The IMD said in its update that the subdued monsoon over northwest Rajasthan had driven up day temperatures appreciably to markedly above normal to reaching 40 deg C and above at many places. The US National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) indicates that the drying is obvious over these regions, which would gradually extend into adjoining Madhya Pradesh during the week ending September 22. Over the peninsula, activity emanating from southern Bay of Bengal will grow into adjoining southeast coast and the rest of the peninsula. Almost the entire west coast and adjoining regions will benefit, with showers tending to concentrate over Kerala and adjoining interior Tamil Nadu. The week from September 22 to October 1, conventionally the last active monsoon week over the mainland, would see a surge in thundershower activity over south Kerala and adjoining southern Tamil Nadu. In the east, Gangetic West Bengal is expected to come under thundershowers during this phase.
MAY BE DELAYED
This projected itinerary would mean that monsoon withdrawal would not be complete by the September-end and will get delayed until sometime into October. On Tuesday, the IMD traced the cyclonic circulation persisting from overnight to over east Uttar Pradesh. The presence of a trough in the westerlies would bring isolated thundershowers over the extreme north. The IMD has forecast scattered to fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy falls over south peninsular India during the next four days. Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is also likely over the North-Eastern States during the next two days and increase thereafter. Satellite pictures on Tuesday showed convective clouds over south Andaman Sea, southeast Bay of Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. A warning valid for the next two days said that isolated heavy rainfall is likely over Karnataka, coastal Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Fairly widespread rainfall activity with isolated heavy falls is likely over south peninsular India and the North-Eastern States.
QuikSCAT is a scatterometer that measures wind speed by bouncing microwave pulses off the ocean's surface and recording the echo. An ocean tossed by strong winds will scatter the energy differently than a calm ocean, so the measurement provides an indication of both wind speed and direction. However, since hurricanes are relatively rare, scientists have not calibrated the data to accurately report wind speeds greater than 50 knots (about 60 miles per hour or 90 kilometers per hour). Heavy rain also distorts the ocean's surface, making wind speeds more difficult to gauge. As a result, this image shows relative wind speeds rather than providing an accurate reporting of actual wind speeds.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA'sTerra satellite captured this true-color image of Hurricane Fred at 8:55 a.m. Atlantic Standard Time (12:55 UTC) on September 9, 2009. Spanning hundreds of kilometers, Fred travels northwestward over the Atlantic Ocean.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
In a very shocking revelation, the new study by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology warns that there is every likelihood of reducing the temperature difference between land and sea, commonly known as Temperature Gradient, accountable for attracting rain causing winds from Arabian Sea towards Indian mainland.
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mide-20th century and its projected continuation. Global surface temperature increased 0.74 or 0.18C during the previous century.
The usually talked about measures of global warming happens to be the trend in globally averaged temperature closer to Earth’s surface. Expressed as linear trend, this temperature rose by 0.74C or 0.18C over the period 1006-2005. The rate of warming over the last 50 years of that period was almost double. The urban heat island effect is estimated to account for about 0.002C of warming per decade since 1900.
As per NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2005 it was the warmest year since reliable, widespread instrumental measurements became available in the late 1800s exceeding the previous record set in 1998 by a few hundredths of a degree.
The study says, if the gradient turns out to be zero, the monsoon winds will be replaced by easterly winds thus disturbing the flow of South-west monsoon. The Indian Meteorology Department demonstrated a 23 per cent reduced rain during the present season is a great point of alarming .At a time when the entire world is discussing about the climate and global warming, India has to prepare a well placed mechanism to meet any forthcoming eventuality. And this can be an indication of this phenomenon.
More than anything else, global warming is responsible for the rise in the average temperature across the globe. This is considered behind the rise in temperature over the Arabian Sea, and confirms the study.
According to the statistics of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the monsoon starts it's withdrawal from Rajasthan around September 1. But this year, there have been no signs of the monsoon receding.
"Before we declare the withdrawal of the monsoon, we look for certain weather conditions, like dry conditions must prevail in the state for over five days and the level of humidity should go down. If those conditions are not available then a withdrawal can not be declared," said Medha Khole, Director (Weather Forecasting ), India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Currently, Rajasthan, from where we normally start giving withdrawal, is not showing any of these favourable conditions, Khole said, adding that the weather conditions are expected to remain the same for the next one week.
"There is a cyclonic circulation present near Madhya Pradesh and it is likely to move towards Rajasthan. This movement will result cause rainfall in Rajasthan for the next few of days. So the withdrawal is not expected for next two days and five days after. This makes it a total of seven days i.e. one week," she said.
Meanwhile, this delay of withdrawal may bring some good news for farmers, feels R P Samui, deputy director general meteorology, IMD. "This delay in the monsoon's return journey means more rainfall in certain areas for some more time. It would certainly prove to be beneficial for farmers in some areas," Samui said.
Samui opined that this delay of withdrawal would be advantageous for the standing crops and even for winter crops.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
-A tropical depression apparently gained tropical cyclone status for a short time before heading inland over the state of West Bengal south of Kolkata, India. Landfall happened late last week. Since then, this low has drifted towards the northwest and into the state of Jharkhand.
Rainfall has been substantial, often 10-20 cm, over the aforesaid states together with Bihar and westernmost reaches of Bangladesh. One amount was near 23 cm at Bankura, West Bengal.
-Looking forward, it would seem that local heavy and even very heavy falls of rain (say, 10-20 cm), will happen northwest into the plain of north-central India as well as the foothills of western Nepal and neighboring India. Time frame here is through at least midweek and maybe Friday. Interaction between the fading Monsoon low and the leading edge of the Westerlies will raise the potential for higher rainfall, locally, along the foothills of northern India to western Nepal.
--As to the state of the South West Monsoon, it would seem to have begun its yearly withdrawal from the northwest, as is pretty much in keeping with the historical record. "Attempts" by the GFS numerical forecast model to bring rain towards the Pakistan border came to nought, best as I can tell. And there is no longer any hint of rain for the desert borderlands nor the Indus plain. I think that, with respect to summer rains of 2009, the books can be shut.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
A deep depression has developed over the Bay of Bengal and heavy rains are expected in many parts of the state that may just help fill the dams to its fullest capacity. According to Medha Khole, director of IMD, Pune, the withdrawal of monsoon is expected to get delayed by at least a week.
“When most parts of the country begin experiencing dry spells for consecutive five to six days, it is an indication that the monsoon has started retreating. The IMD said this condition has been observed critically in west Rajasthan, where the trend shows up from September 1. However, this year no such indication is seen even in west Rajasthan till now. In fact, it is raining heavily there,” she said.
Khole said the delay in withdrawal of monsoon could help improve the average rainfall received in September. “In August, we had 23 per cent deficient rainfall. Owing to the delay in withdrawal of monsoon, we can expect a little more than average rainfall for September,” she said.
Almost all parts of the state, including the city, ahve been receiving good rainfall for the last three days. Till 8.30 am on Saturday, Ratnagiri received 140 mm of rainfall, Mahabaleshwar and Alibaug had 50 mm rainfall and Aurangabad recorded 70 mm rainfall.
The IMD has predicted that the same conditions would prevail over the state for the next two days and the city could expect some showers during this period.
“The depression over northwest Bay of Bengal has moved in a northwesterly direction and has concentrated into a deep depression that will help increase the rainfall,” said Khole.
Meanwhile, the dam levels have increased by 3 per cent. “Rainfall in the catchment areas in the last few days have helped increase the water levels in dams,” said S N Bolbhat, executive engineer, Khadakwasla Irrigation Division, Pune.
The phenomenon is the result of global warming which has led to increase in the rate of temperature rise over Arabian Sea, researchers say.
This rise is reducing temperature difference between land and sea, known as Temperature Gradient (TG), responsible for attracting rain causing winds from Arabian Sea towards Indian mainland.
"For climatology, 30 years variations are considered. The decreasing trend (of TG) is highly significant and in another 150 years or so, it may tend to zero," lead author S M Bawiskar, a scientist at the Pune-based institute, told PTI.
Once the gradient becomes zero, Mr. Bawiskar warns, the monsoon winds will be replaced by dry easterly winds thus disturbing the flow of south-west monsoon.
He found that average temperature over Arabian Sea was 18.77 degrees Celsius during 1948-77 but it has increased by 0.87 degrees to touch 19.64 degrees during 1979-2008.
The results published in the Journal of Earth System Science show that rate of temperature increase over sea are higher than land which has narrowed the Gradient by 1.11 degrees during the said period.
The below normal rains during the current season are also an indication of the changes taking place in the temperature over the Arabian sea.
The Indian Meteorology Department has shown a 23 per cent reduced rain activity during the present season, which may be an indication of this phenomenon.
"With decreasing TG, monsoon current over Arabian sea would become weak. This will lead to reduced rainfall activity over Indian Peninsula. The break like circulation will prevail for a longer period of time, which we are already experiencing during this monsoon," Mr. Bawiskar said.
Global warming, which is increasing the average temperature across the planet, is also behind the increasing temperature over the Arabian sea, the study says.
During monsoon, Arabian sea and Indian peninsula are under the grip of westerlies (winds coming from west) in the lower troposphere.
These winds are mainly responsible for bringing rains over the Indian land mass and are established during the monsoon due to the Temperature Gradient.
waterlogging. Enthusiastic shoppers, who had braved the day-long sharp showers to hit malls and markets towards evening, were taken aback as the rain intensified. Several hours later, they were seen huddling under umbrellas and hugging their shopping bags while waiting for transport. A good many had to wade their way home.
The rain continued late into the night and the Met didn’t hold out any hope for Sunday either. The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal crossed the Bengal coast near Digha on Saturday. Till 9.30 pm, the Met had recorded 45.4 mm rain and it was pouring till late into the night.
Farzana Chowdhury, the mayor-in-council member overseeing the KMC drainage department, said officials in all drainage pumping stations had been alerted as soon as the civic body received the Met office warning. But, by night, large parts of the city were under water. The worst-hit areas were the usual trouble spots — Ultadanga, Manicktala, Chittaranjan Avenue, College Street, AJC Bose Road, Camac Street, New Alipore, Rashbehari Avenue, Behala, parts of Tollygunge.
Through the day, crosswinds and heavy rains also affected flight operations intermittently at the airport.
The city was not alone in its suffering, though. All south Bengal districts, including South and North 24-Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura bore the brunt of the rains. The government sounded an alert in all the six districts, but ruled out a cyclone.