Saturday, October 31, 2009
Where is North-East showers and Cyclone??
It's November now and we have not got the October quotta of Rain and not even a single LOW over Bay yet! and Not going to be one until 10-Nov-09 according to GFS models.
Certainly there are signs of Cyclone potential building up over south Bay.
Here's the Cyclone potential map... suggests a good energy formation south Bay along the 5th parallel.
and here's the Sea Surface Temperature Map.. it shows a HOT bed near East of Srilanka.
GFS models suggest a LOW pressure trough forming just along Eastern Srilanka on 2-Nov-09 will touch TN Delta coast and then travel all along the south-east coast and showers will reach upto Bangladesh coast on 7-Nov-09.
Friday, October 30, 2009
India has begun importing rice to counter an expected large shortfall in production following the driest monsoon season in nearly four decades, the Press Trust of India said Thursday.
The move to import rice comes amid government fears that output will fall short by up to 16 million tonnes in the world's second-largest rice producer and follows years of bumper output.
"About 400,000 tonnes of rice has already been imported by traders and the figure is going to go up," the news agency quoted a leading exporter, who did not wish to be identified, as saying.
Rice prices in the domestic market have soared by about 25 percent in the last four months on supply worries.
India, which has nearly 1.2 billion people, suffered the driest monsoon since 1972 that affected rice-producing areas of the country.
The rice crop was later hit by widespread flooding.
The news agency said purchases from overseas markets by private traders would increase in coming days as the government had abolished customs duty of 70 percent.
India produced 99.2 million tonnes of rice last year.
Agriculture Ministry Secretary T. Nanda Kumar said earlier in the week that the government would not import rice but that it had created an opportunity for private traders to do so.
The Federation of All India Rice Millers Association General Secretary Sushil Kumar Choudhury said some traders in southern India have contracted to import rice in huge quantities from rice-producing countries like Thailand.
"Prices in the global market flare up when India decides to enter the import market," said Gurnam Arora, joint managing director of leading basmati rice exporter Kohinoor Foods.
"The import should be done secretly. Otherwise exporters would take advantage of it," he told the news agency.
There was no immediate comment available from the government.
The US Department of Agriculture said in a report Thursday that rice output in India could fall by up to 17 million tonnes.
Familiarity breeds contempt. This is what happening in the case of rain, as Chennaiites, who were desperately hoping for the opening up of sky in the last one month or so, are now seeing the otherside of it.
Though the rain brought relief to the residents, who were reeling under the scorching sun, intermittent showers in many parts of the city and its suburbs last night uprooted around 20 trees besides injuring a man.
At the Public Works Department Quarters in K K Nagar, a huge tree fell on one Nehru (37). With heavy injuries on one of his legs, he was admitted to a private hospital.
Rain played havoc at the Ashok Nagar police station, a few yards from K K Nagar, as the wireless system got damaged after a lightning strike. Following this, the police station was isolated from the network for the whole night.
The case was no different in other parts of the city too, as waterlogging was the order of the night in streets including arterial roads in many areas. As a result, this morning, office-goers on vehicles and students had to suffer a lot.
Besides, around 20 trees were uprooted in places like Virugambakkam, K K Nagar, Boag Road, Kodambakkam, Egmore (where a car was smashed near Rajarathinam Stadium), L B Road and Thiruvanmiyur. Meanwhile, the Met Office today predicted more rains thanks to the onset of the northeast monsoon.
'Heavy rainfall is expected in coastal Tamilnadu and Puducherry. More rain is in store,' an official told News Today.
Presence of mist was reported from certain parts of the city, although the Met department ruled out its possibility. On Wednesday, Chennai recorded a minimum temperature of 22.8 degree Celsius. In Chennai city and its suburbs, during the next 48 hours the weather will be generally cloudy with one or two spells of rain or thundershower.
About 48 per cent of the State's annual rainfall of 945 mm is received during this season, according to reports
The north-east monsoon has set in over coastal Tamil Nadu and the larger peninsular India at least a week late than normal, India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on Thursday.
The north-east monsoon has been active over coastal Tamil Nadu during the 24 hours ending Thursday morning, according to an update from the Chennai Met Centre.
Strong northeasterly to easterlies currently prevail over peninsular India. An almost contiguous pair of troughs of lower pressure (not amounting to a `lowpressure' area) over southwest Bay of Bengal off south Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka coasts and southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood is driving the winds.
TO FURTHER STRENGHEN
Guidance from the numerical weather products indicated further strengthening of easterly and northeasterly winds.
Satellite imagery on Thursday showed convective clouds over parts of south Andaman Sea, southwest Bay of Bengal and southeast Arabian Sea. An IMD outlook valid until October 31 indicated the possibility of scattered to fairly widespread rainfall over south peninsular India during the next three days.
Meanwhile, true to forecasts, a new typhoon, named Mirinae, is currently stalking the west Pacific waters. Classified as Category-2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale of storm intensity (154 to 177 km/hr), Mirinae is approaching the storm-battered Philippines for a landfall by late night on Friday.
The London-based Tropical Storm Risk Group, as do most storm tracking models, indicate that Mirinae would slid into the South China Sea, retain typhoon status, and head straight west for a second landfall over Vietnam/ Thailand around November 2/3.
Here, the system is likely to face a barrage of opposing westerlies associated with a westerly trough dipping low over mainland India and heading further eastward.
Mirinae is seen not making much headway either with its onward push across Indo-China into the adjoining Bay of Bengal. Instead, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) predicts a `ripple effect' being generated over downstream southwest Arabian Sea in the form of a low-pressure area.
Predictions for the week from October 29 (Thursday) to November 5 by the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) favoured the possibility of strong northeast monsoon activity along the Tamil Nadu coast, the southern peninsular tip, parts of the Kerala coast and Sri Lanka.
The following week (November 6 to 14) is likely to witness a blow-up in accumulated rainfall over the southeast Tamil Nadu coast, west and northwest Sri Lanka, the Palk Straits and the peninsular tip.
Meanwhile, cyclone phase evaluation modelling by three major players - the NGP model of the US Navy, Global Forecasting System by the NCEP and the Canadian Meteorological Centre - indicated the formation of a weather system to the southeast of Sri Lanka around Friday.
It is forecast to track west or west-northwest into equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining southwest Arabian Sea. This could ultimately set up the `low' over southwest Arabian Sea as has been forecast by the ECMWF.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
A low pressure formation seen by GFS model near East of Srilanka on 1-Nov-09
And on 2-Nov-09, it becomes more dense ..
Around 4-Nov-09, the system is seen crashing into Cauvery delta zone (where Cyclone Nisha-2008, crashed).. but this is going to be a Depression at the maximum according to latest GFS models... this might change.
From 3-Nov to 7-Nov-09 very heavy showers forecast all along the Tamilnadu coast.
Northeast monsoon rains commenced over Tamil Nadu and adjoining parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.
Northeast monsoon has been active over Coastal Tamil Nadu.
Rainfall occurred at most places over Coastal Tamil Nadu and at a few places over Interior Tamil Nadu, Coastal and South Interior Karnataka and Kerala. Isolated rainfall occurred over Lakshadweep, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema. Mainly dry weather prevailed over Telangana. Dry weather prevailed over North Interior Karnataka.
Kollidam (Nagapattinam dt) recorded a heavy rainfall of 7 Centimeters.
The other chief amounts of rainfall recorded in centimeters
Chengalpattu (Kanchipuram and Gingee (Villupuram dt) 6 each, Sriperumpudur (Kanchipuram dt), Cuddalore, Puducherry Airport, Tiruvarur and Sirkali (Nagapattinam dt) 5 each, Chennai, Uthiramerur (Kanchipuram dt), Cholavaram, Chembarambakkam and Tamaraipakkam (all Thiruvallur dt), Chidambaram (Cuddalore dt), Vanur (Villupuram dt), Muthupet (Thiruvarur dt), Ramanathapuram, Sathankulam (Tuticorin dt), Sathanur Dam (Tiruvannamalai dt) and Kodaikanal 4 each, Chennai Airport, Cheyyur (Kanchipuram dt), Kanchipuram, Tambaram, Thiruvallur, Parangipettai, Sethiyathope and Virudhachalam (both Cuddalore dt), Villupuram, Mayiladuthurai and Tarangambadi (both Nagapattinam dt), Vedaranyam, Ambasamuthiram (Tirunelveli dt), Kanyakumari, Arani and Vanthavasi (both Tiruvannamalai dt) and Pochampalli (Krishnagiri dt) 3 each, Anna University (Chennai dt), Maduranthagam (Kanchipuram dt), Ramakrishnarajupet (Thiruvallur dt), Kattumannarkoil (Cuddalore dt), Karaikal, Thiruthuraipoondi (Thiruvarur dt), Nagapattinam, Gandarvakottai (Pudukottai dt), Rameshwaram (Ramanathapuram dt), Tondi, Ayikudi, Nanguneri, Radhapuram and Sivagiri (all Thirunelveli dt), Srivaikuntam and Vilathikulam (both Tuticorin dt), Tuticorin, Mylaudi and Nagerkoil (both Kanyakumari dt), Cheyyar and Polur (both Thiruvannamalai dt), Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore, Barur (Krishnagiri dt), Omalur (Salem dt), Kangeyam (Erode dt), Tirumangalam (Madurai dt), Karaikudi and Tiruppuvanam (both Sivagangai dt), Quilandy (Kozhikode dt), Perumbavur (Ernakulam dt), Kottayam, Mulki (Dakshina Kannada dt), Agumbe, Sringeri (Chikmagalur dt), Chikmagalur, Tada (Nellore dt) Pakala (Chittoor dt) 2 each and DGP Office (Chennai dt), Ponneri (Thiruvallur dt), Tiruttani, Thozhudur (Cuddalore dt), Kallakurichi, Tindivanam, Tirukoilur and Ulundurpet (all Villupuram dt), Adiramapattinam, Orathanadu and Thiruvidaimaruthur (both Thanjavur dt), Mannargudi, Nannilam and Needamangalam (all Thiruvarur dt), Aranthangi (Pudukottai dt), Pamban, Sankarankoil (Thirunelveli dt), Palayamkottai, Kovilpatti, Ottapidaram and Tiruchendur (all Tuticorin dt), Boothapandy (Kanyakumari dt), Ambur, Arakonam, Gudiyatham and Melalathur (all Vellore dt), Harur and Pappireddipatti (both Dharmapuri dt), Krishnagiri, Uthangarai (Krishnagiri dt), Sankaridurg and Vazhapadi (both Salem dt), Udumalpet (Tiruppur dt), Karur Paramathi, Chittampatti, Peraiyur, Sholavandhan and Usilampatti (all Madurai dt), Madurai Airport, Theni, Chatrapatti and Palani (both Dindigul dt), Chittur (Palakkad dt), CIAL Kochi, Haripad (Alapuzha dt), Kozha and Kanjirapally (both Kottayam dt), Thiruvananthapuram, Neyyatinkara (Thiruvananthapuram dt), Aminidivi, Mangalore Airport, Puttur (Dakshina Kannada dt), Kamareddy and Ajjampura (both Chikmagalur dt), Hallimysore (Hassan dt), Sargur (Mysore dt), Srirangapatnam (Mandya dt), Tirupathi Airport, Srikalahasti, Sathyavedu and Thambalapalle (all Chittoor dt) and Chittoor 1 each.
Karwar and Ongole recorded the highest maximum temperature of 36 degree Celsius in the region.
Chennaiittes may have been tempted to scream aloud in joy for the city witnessed steady drizzle since last night.
But the joy seemed shortlived as the sky cleared this morning and the sun was out. And the Chennai Metrological Office seems to still hedge its bet on the monsoon.
After saying that the monsoon will set from today, the Met office today said that the 'monsoon will set in a couple of days'.
The brief spell of rain for the last couple of days were an indicator to it, they said.
Rain or thunder showers are likely to be expected in the areas of coastal Tamilnadu and Pondicherry and in one or two places of interior Tamilnadu too, said the officials.
By Thursday, increased moisture transport and strengthening wind speeds would help push up humidity to 100 per cent and trigger widespread rains all over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The familiar sight of traffic jam or potholes on the road after a decent spell of rain did not bother residents as they were waiting anxiously for this. Theye were in no mood to complain.
With several places reeling under acute water scarcity, it was obvious that northeast monsoon was their last hope.
Says Packiyaraj, an autodriver, 'From August, the weather turns breezy at least from the early evening, but this year you felt as though it is still summer. If the monsoon fails. the fate of the city would be doomed'.
Echoing the same is Gangadharan, an government employee, 'the heat was unbearable until a couple of days ago. Hopefully the coming days would fetch more rain for us. We were expecting heavy rain today. In contrast, it is slowly turning out to be a another hot day'.
The monsoon is important for Tamilnadu: 48 per cent of the State's annual rainfall of 945 mm is received during this season. As for the delayed onset, it is noted that since 1979 the onset has occurred in the second half of October on 16 occasions and in November four times. In the remaining 10 years it happened in the first half of October. But as on date, Tamilnadu has had 78 per cent deficit in rainfall for the month of October. Against the normal 155 mm, it received 35 mm.
A drought in India and typhoons in the Philippines have damaged large tracts of rice paddies, threatening to upset the fragile food market amid fears of shortages and riots, experts said Wednesday.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap of the Philippines, the world's biggest rice importer, told an international rice conference the impact of the next "perfect storm" will be greatest on vulnerable countries like his, and the world's poor.
He proposed an international food reserve that will safeguard against wild fluctuations in food prices. When prices are down, producers can build stocks to halt further decreases, while consumers can turn to the reserves when prices are rocketing, Yap said.
"We are not very far off from possibly another rerun of 2008," he said. Last year's record-high price of rice and other staples led to riots in at least 30 countries, according to the World Food Program.
The biggest rice producers, Thailand and Vietnam, had curbed exports to protect domestic supply. In the Philippines, people formed long lines to buy low-quality rice at subsidized prices while traders were suspected of hoarding.
Rice is a staple for half of the world's population, a big chunk of them poor, Yap said.
India and Philippines are the two main drivers of the market, and rice traders are waiting to see if and how much they will import.
"I can tell you any panic reaction by any of the countries can easily flare up this market which is already in a very tight situation," said Samarendu Mohanty, a senior economist at the Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute. The institute has been trying to breed high-yielding rice varieties that can survive extreme weather.
The Philippines - which imports rice every year to cover a 10-percent domestic production shortfall - says it has lost at least 925,000 tons (840,000 metric tons) due to recent back-to-back storms.
Officials earlier said there will unlikely be need for more imports this year, but on Wednesday Yap refused to rule it out, saying the government will do "what we have to do to protect our people's food security."
While there is no official estimate yet of losses due to low rainfall in India, a drought of similar magnitude in 2002 lowered rice production in that country by 23.5 million tons (21 million metric tons), Mohanty said.
"So it is very likely the crop yield will be 20 million less than what we had last year," he added.
This year India's summer monsoon, vital for agriculture because of the rainfall it brings, was the weakest since 1972. In some parts of the country, however, floods also damaged crops.
And while India has sizable stocks, a large chunk of the reserve is earmarked for subsidies aimed at the poor and has not dampened local market prices, which have doubled in the last several months, he said.
Global rice production needs to grow around 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent a year to meet increasing demand from population growth.
Currently, growth is falling to less than 1 percent a year because of variety of factors, including water constraints, more land planted for crops used to produce biofuels, climate change and rising prices of fuel and fertilizer, Mohanty said.
There is a need to increase technological development to improve productivity even in unfavorable areas with seed varieties that are resilient against flood, drought, salinity and heat, he said.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Satellite imagery showed convective clouds over parts of south Andaman Sea.
Outlook until Wednesday said that scattered rainfall is likely over Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and parts of Kerala and Lakshadweep may start getting isolated rainfall from Monday onwards.
Most international models surveyed were in agreement with the IMD outlook for this phase.
Cyclone phase evaluation modelling by the Canadian Meteorological Centre and the Global Forecasting System (GFS) of the US National Centre for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) identically suggested enhanced weather activity in the south-west Bay of Bengal.
North Sri Lanka, the Palk Straits and south-east coast of Tamil Nadu are the areas likely to witness most of the weather, according to these projections.
October 31 and November 1 could be the two dates to watch out during the short term for south-east Tamil Nadu and north-east Sri Lanka, according to GFS predictions by the US Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Centre.
Precipitation forecast by the NCEP valid for the week ending November 1, too, said that south-east coastal Tamil Nadu and the rest of its coastal regions may be in for some battering.
Abnormal warming of the south and south-east Bay is what is seen as keeping the basin sufficiently active, the NCEP outlook said.
This active phase is forecast to continue during the following week (November 2 to 10) as well with the ‘push’ coming in from the south to south-east Bay.
According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), enhanced activity could be attributed to landfall of the next typhoon-in-making (Mirinae, according to naming protocol) in the South China Sea with a landfall predicted over Thailand on November 3.
After landfall here, the weakened storm is forecast to head west to south-west into Indo-China and a remnant circulation may manage to slip into the Bay of Bengal within the next two days.
This behaviour of this remnant circulation would need to be watched out for signals for reinvigorated storm activity, according to the Roundy-Albany model that tracks storm development.
According to the ECMWF, the causative ‘low’ may take shape east of the Philippines by Wednesday and make a landfall over the most storm-visited land on earth over the following three days.
After landfall over the archipelago, the storm is forecast to emerge into the South China Sea and undergo a few rounds of intensification to grow into a likely typhoon, before making a landfall over Thailand.
From here, the typhoon remnant is shown as tracking south to south-west over Indo-China to almost slip into the extreme south-east Bay of Bengal by November 4, up to which forecasts were available on Sunday.
The IMD update on Sunday said that northwesterly to northerly winds were prevailing over northwest, east and central India.
A trough extended from Arunachal Pradesh to south Bay of Bengal in the lower levels of the atmosphere with an embedded cyclonic circulation over the central Bay.
The north-to-south flows occasioned by the trough are expected to cause the pre-existing upper air cyclonic circulation over southeast Bay to move west-southwest (towards the Sri Lankan latitude).
Some international models suggested that the circulation may dig further south where it would be positioned to pump up the easterly flows over peninsular India during the next week and enhance the northeast monsoon performance.
Meanwhile, maximum temperatures were above normal by 2 to 5 deg Celsius over the west and east coasts of India; by 2 to 4 deg Celsius over many parts of the north-eastern States, central and interior peninsular India.
But, they were below normal by 3 to 6 deg Celsius over most parts of northwest, central and east India, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and north interior Karnataka.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
India Meteorological Department (IMD), too, said in its outlook that south Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala could witness an increase in rainfall activity from that day.
An east-west trough of low pressure has spread itself out across the south peninsula with an embedded upper air cyclonic circulation over south-east and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal on Friday.
In this manner, the stage has been set for the eventual onset of the northeast monsoon over the next three days, the Noida-based National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) said in its outlook.
International models, however, did not give much mileage to the upper air circulation. The system may travel west-northwest into the central Bay but could run into north-south flows off the southeast coast and weaken in the process.
No system development is forecast anytime soon but a likely easterly wave is what models see as precipitating organised showers over the southern peninsula from Wednesday onwards.
IMD satellite imagery showed convective clouds over parts of south Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and southeast Arabian Sea on Friday.
Outlook until Monday spoke about the possibility of scattered rainfall over Andaman and Nicobar Islands but isolated over Kerala and Lakshadweep as stray northeasterly winds drop their moisture content.
The US Navy’s Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation charts revealed that the entire Bay of Bengal basin has warmed up ahead of the onset of north-east monsoon.
The sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) are above normal by two to three deg Celsius over most parts of the Bay, especially along the coast on Friday. But the warming anomaly is only one deg Celsius to the southeast.
The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Centre (FNMOC) of the US Navy saw organised showers take off along and off coastal Tamil Nadu and adjoining Kerala, Sri Lanka and adjoining Indian Ocean and southeast Arabian Sea from Wednesday.
The rains are forecast to accelerate the next day, with winds whipping up speeds of 15 to 20 knots (28 to 37 km/hr). Combined with the building SSTs, this could set up the platform for storm development.
The FNMOC sees initial signals of this over the southwest Bay, off the southeast coastal Tamil Nadu and northeast Sri Lanka, during this phase.
The US National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) forecasts, too, points to concentrated churn establishing over the southwest Bay around this time.
Rain waves may push into the southeast coast from October 28, the NCEP said which is in agreement with peer model predictions. The week ending October 30 would see the entire southern peninsula slipping under a wet cover.
The rains are forecast to scale up during the next week (October 31 to November 8) when the Tamil Nadu coast, especially to central and southern parts, could likely get a battering.
Rain cover may extend to over Sri Lanka and adjoining southwest Bay; off and along coastal Tamil Nadu; Kerala; Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa during the week. The wet phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave is also forecast to hold strong concurrently.
In line with what could be expected of a wet MJO phase, the Roundy-Albany model for cyclogenesis (birth of storm) anticipates build-up of some activity over the southwest Bay during the period
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has declared on Thursday that the southwest monsoon has withdrawn from the country. RAIN WATCH Southwesterly winds have been replaced by northeasterly winds over the south peninsula. Lowlevel northeasterlies that bring the northeast monsoon have been prevailing over the south peninsula over the past three to four days. The IMD has also mounted a watch for an increase in rainfall activity over extreme south peninsula from Sunday (October 25) that should presumably precipitate the northeast monsoon (reverse or winter monsoon). But, presently, the wind speeds are lacking in strength but the IMD has assessed that there are indications of development of a cyclonic circulation over southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal during the next two days. The circulation is expected to move west-northwest- wards. On Thursday, however, sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) were not favourable for `cyclogenesis' over the southeast Bay waters. But SSTs were clearly building over Bay waters towards the southeast coast, as per the US Navy Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation data. They were still higher just off the coast of Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The US Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System saw a cyclonic circulation wheeling in from southeast Bay of Bengal heading west into south west Bay of Bengal during October 22 to 28 and looking straight at the Tamil Nadu coast. The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Centre (FNMOC) of the US Navy saw organised showers approaching the Tamil Nadu coast around October 29 only. This is shown as happening in tandem with northeasterly winds picking in speeds of up to 20 knots and even beyond. The southern peninsula and adjoining northeast Sri Lanka are likely to benefit from these rains, the FNMOC said. WEAK `LOW' The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) saw a weak `low' sitting smack over central Bay of Bengal around Sunday even as Typhoon Lupit `looked the other way' to track northeast off the Philippines. Meanwhile, all leading models tracking the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave with its alternating dry and wet phases saw negative outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) values building over the peninsula and adjoining waters from October 25. Negative OLR values are a proxy for the presence of rain-bearing clouds, which can in turn be attributed to an incoming wet MJO phase. A wet MJO phase is known to trigger the monsoons, low-pressure areas and even cyclones. The Wheeler model says that the MJO wave will start tracking north from equatorial Indian Ocean to cover Sri Lanka and adjoining southern Indian peninsula, southwest Bay of Bengal and southeast Arabian Sea. This phase is likely to be `productive' and would stay as such until November 5. The Empirical Wave Propagation model employed by the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction concurs with this outlook and says that the MJO wave would be particularly active during October 31 to November 5 around Sri Lanka and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal. The Jones model sees the strong MJO phase to last from November 7 to 11. STORM DEVELOPMENT These forecasts seem to jell with the prediction for storm development in the southwest Bay of Bengal during the first week of November by the Roundy-Albany model that tracks `cyclogenesis' around the globe. As per this model outlook, a causative `low' is seen as strengthening from around November 2 and would likely reach peak activity November 9. Meanwhile on Thursday, the minimum temperatures were below normal by 3 to 4 deg Celsius over many parts of central and east India. They were below normal by 2 to 3 deg Celsius over parts of northwest and interior peninsula. They were near normal over rest of the country. No significant change in minimum temperatures is likely during the next three to four days. Mainly dry weather is likely to prevail over most parts of the country during the next five days. Satellite pictures showed convective clouds over parts of south Bay of Bengal.
handygo Ltd, a leading wireless solution provider in mobile and value-added services, has tied up with India Meteorological Department (IMD) to provide farmers with meteorological inputs through Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS).
Farmers will receive not just weather forecast, but also advice on agricultural inputs for various kinds of crops prepared by in-house agricultural experts.
handygo launched its services in 21 districts of Punjab and 20 districts of Haryana, and now plans to focus on 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh; Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal, and Maharashtra.
MOU WITH IMD
After signing a memorandum of understanding with the IMD, handygo has extensively researched and gathered information about various regions of the country and the local agriculture pattern.
Agricultural scientists at handygo process the technical data into information which is easily accessible and understandable to farmers updated twice on a weekly basis.
Provided in the vernacular language, the inputs pertain to selection of crops and their varieties, proper sowing time, pest and disease control, optimum timing and dose of fertiliser, post-harvest advice, irrigation management and decision-making based on weather information.
Details on sourcing bank loans as well as mandi rates will also be made available. Farmers need to dial 55678 on mobile phones to receive required information at Re 1 a minute. handygo has tied up with local telecom operators for this service.
According to Mr Praveen Rajpal, CEO of handygo, the company intends to expand services to all parts of the country.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Climate change is having, and will continue to have strong, differential effects on people within and between countries and regions, for the present and future generations. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected among the countries that are facing the early impact of climate change said International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICCB), The World Business Organisation in the Editorial of its Quarterly News Bulletin released on 18th October.
The United Nations warns that a quarter of Bangladesh's coastline could be inundated, and about 17% of the land mass go under water, if the sea rises 3 feet in the next 50 years; roughly 30 million Bangladeshis will be displaced from their homes and farms, making them "climate refugees".
According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after the 2030s, river flows could drop dramatically, turning the great glacier-fed rivers of Asia into seasonal monsoon-fed rivers.
As a result, water shortages in Asia could affect more than a billion people by the 2050s. The impact of higher temperatures, more variable precipitation, extreme weather events (including intense floods, droughts, and storms) and sea level rise are already felt in Bangladesh and will continue to intensify.
A study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) reveals that if the current trends persist until 2050, the||crop production in South Asia would decline significantly and melting Himalayan glaciers and other climate change impacts will pose a direct threat to the water and food security of more than 1.6 billion people in South Asia.
There are predictions that globally harvests may drop 20 to 40 per cent by the end of this century as a result of global warming.
New research, by economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), finds that in years with higher temperatures, poor countries would experience significantly slower economic growth. The results further suggest that global warming could widen the gap between rich and the poor.
According to latest estimates, "annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution" in Bangladesh is 0.9 as against 2.2 in India, 5.5 in China, 11 in Europe, 27 in US, 30 in Australia, and 6.7 in the world.
The people of Bangladesh are suffering the harsh effects of climate change, even though we are responsible for only one-.fifth of one per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Particularly since the industrial revolution, countries that are now developed have been profligate in their use of fossil-fuel energy for development; the GHGs they have emitted have created the problem we currently face. Now, as our countries want to develop, we face innumerable problems that are the direct consequences of the actions of others. Our industrial development will be much more expensive than it has been for countries that have developed earlier The way out of global warming is not easy, assuming we are not already too late. It will cost between $500 and $600 billion annually to enable poor developing states to shift to renewable energy resources instead of relying on fuels that worsen global warming, according to a United Nations report released on September 1, 2009. Technology is available for cost-effective environment friendly production processes in developed countries; equally important will be the life-style changes in the developed countries, to reduce their emissions of GHGs.
To recoup the current climate-change related losses, Bangladesh has sought $500 million on an urgent basis as financial assistance from the UN and developed countries. In addition, we have presented the country paper to the- UN seeking a further $5 billion as compensation for next five years.
We praise the timely initiative. However, Bangladesh must participate effectively and raise the compensation issue in the negotiations leading to the In-nation UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen during December 09. The developed countries have the responsibility to cut their emissions to sustainable levels, and at the same time help us overcome the consequences of their actions.
The Northeast monsoon is not expected to hit Tamil Nadu on its usual date of October 20, but the Met office isn't pressing the panic button.
According to S R Ramanan, Director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, "The monsoon is not expected for the next 72 hours. We cannot yet say it is delayed… There is generally a standard deviation of seven days."
Environmentalist Jaishree from Care, an NGO, says that over the years there has been a slight shift in the setting of seasons, which needs to be studied. "It could be due to a variety of reasons; it is difficult to establish the exact cause. What is needed is an in depth research into the trend, as various studies have shown that one of the effects of climate change would be a shift in the seasons," she says. The impact of environmental conditions on seasons is poorly understood. There is no data to explain the cause of the erratic monsoon, she says.
S Raghavan, retired Deputy Director General of the Meteorology Department, points out that there have been cases of the monsoon setting in November or even as early as the first week of October. The Northeast monsoon can set in only when the Southwest monsoon withdraws completely, he says.
"Slight variations are on expected lines because of environmental degradation over the years," he says.
What is worrying is that there is absolutely no advance preparation by the government to tackle problems that could arise if the monsoon is delayed. The minimum the government could do ahead of the monsoon is to store water and recharge the groundwater aquifers, he suggested.
"I don't think greenhouse gas emissions are the only reason for the monsoon's erratic behaviour. Over the years, there has been a slight change here and there, but then climate conditions have always been unpredictable," he says.
It should have been raining in the city on Tuesday, instead it turned out to be scorching day, with the day temperature touching 35. 2
degrees Celsius, four degrees above the monthly average of 31. 4 degrees. With the north-east monsoon failing to arrive on schedule (October 20), it has been a consistently hot October till date, with every day recording above normal day temperature. The mercury even touched 37 degrees on three days this month.
The easterly winds, which are a prelude to the onset of the monsoon, set in on October 12. Normally, rains follow within five days. However, apart from rains in districts such as Ramanathapuram and Vedaranyam, most parts of the state continue to be without rains. Meteorological officials say the monsoon is at least three days away, while charts based on satellite pictures indicate lack of rainfall activity even on October 24. Global weather charts also indicate that Chennai is likely to receive around 6 .2 mm of rainfall, as against the monthly average of 40 mm.
Meanwhile, Metrowater officials say there is nothing to worry on the water front. "The current storage poistion in our lakes is comfortable, and once the rains come, we will have enough till the middle of next year," an official said. The combined storage in the lakes as on Tuesday stood at 2,823 mcft. Poondi lake has1209 mcft, Cholavaram 188 mcft, Red Hills 1,056 mcft and Chembarambakkam 370 mcft.
A delay of up to eight days in the arrival of the monsoon is considered a standard deviation, said Y E Raj, deputy director general, Regional Meteorological Centre. In the last ten years, the monsoon has arrived in November only once (November 5, 2000), and in 2007, it arrived on October 22. In all the other years, the monsoon set in ahead of schedule. Last year it arrived five days ahead. The city so far faces a 99% deficiency of rainfall for the month. The average rainfall for the season (October 1 to December 31) is 860 mm. "The actual deficiency so far for the month is around 80 mm, and one good spell will wipe this out. Last year, heavy rains occured only after November 15," said Raj. The north-east monsoon is also a season when cyclonic storms that bring in more rain can be expected, he added.
Meanwhile, Chennaiites continue to sweat over the weather. "I was out on work at noon, and the heat was unbearable," said Arjun R, a communications expert. The discomfort continued through the day, with lack of breeze in the last few days. "From August the weather turns breezy at least from the early evening, but this year you feel as though it is still summer," said N Subash, employed in a government office.
It's been around four days now since the North-East monsoon set in. The direction of the wind has also changed. But the usual October
rain in the city might be delayed by another week! This apart, climate experts also predict less rainfall for the month this year.
Explaining the trend ahead, M B Raje Gowda, professor of agro-meteorology, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) said: "Though the direction of the wind has changed, no clouds have as yet formed in the Bay of Bengal to lead towards the North-East direction. So, this might delay the October rain in Bangalore by another week. The `above-average' rainfall during September has also resulted in the formation of a high pressure island in this region. This could have also caused a delay in cloud formation.''
Bangalore has always got a good share of rainfall during October, starting from the second week. Up to 200 mm of rainfall is normal for the entire month. Looking back, we had 175 mm in 1990. Post this, the average rainfall for the month has been on a steady rise, going even up to 225 mm. Last year, it was 208 mm. However, the delay in cloud formation might leave us with less rainfall this year.
The next window for the North-East monsoon over the Bay of Bengal and adjoining peninsula is likely to open up during October 27 to November 4 in what is an unusually delayed onset this season.
The US National Centres for Environmental Prediction sees the south-central and adjoining south Bay of Bengal and peninsular India being brought under wet cover during this period.
This outlook is more or less corroborated by the Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) of the US National Weather Services, which said that the Bay would emerge out of the grip of a suppressed convection (dry) phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave.
Stage for the launch
According to the CPC, the dry phase of the MJO will exit the Bay of Bengal by October 27, setting the stage for the north-east monsoon to launch itself over the Bay.
Simultaneously, south China, Taiwan and the Philippines are forecast to get smothered by waves of rainfall unleashed by Super Typhoon Lupit, which is seen making a landfall over the Philippines by Thursday.
The CPC attributes the delay in the onset of the northeast monsoon to this phase of the MJO wave, which triggers dry weather over the region under its footprint.
The MJO wave is an upper-level phenomenon travelling periodically east across the Indian Ocean with alternating wet and dry phases. The wet phase sets up excess rainfall, onset of monsoons, low-pressures areas and even cyclones.
Meanwhile, Super Typhoon Lupit will weaken after landfall and will slip off the Philippine archipelago to emerge into the South China Sea. Here, it will go more rounds of intensification while continuing to travel straight into west.
NEW SUPER TYPHOON
This track will take Lupit for a brush-past with Taiwan and Hong Kong before it barrels into the south China-Vietnam region for a roaring landfall and subsequent weakening.
This too is expected to happen around October 27, another reason why the nearly contiguous Bay of Bengal should be able to breathe free to get the northeast monsoon going.
Meanwhile, India Met Department satellite pictures showed cloud build up along the equator and a northwest-to-southeast banding of clouds over northeast Bay of Bengal. These patterns were being attributed to the `pull' effect of Super Typhoon Lupit.
An IMD update on Tuesday said that the remnant south-west monsoon was subdued over Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
The withdrawal line dipped into the peninsula as Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha, central Maharashtra, Marathawada, Konkan, entire West Bengal, Sikkim, Orissa, the North-Eastern States, parts of Telangana, north interior Karnataka and Goa were declared cleared of southwest monsoon.
Maximum temperatures were above normal by 2 to 5 deg Celsius over peninsular India and by 2 to 3 deg Celsius over parts of central and east India. They were near normal over the rest of the country.
Minimum temperatures were below normal by 2 to 5 deg Celsius over parts of east and adjoining central India, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
No significant change in maximum and minimum temperatures is likely during next two to three days, the IMD said. Satellite pictures on Tuesday showed convective clouds over parts of Andaman Sea.
Outlook for the three days ending October 25 suggested isolated to scattered rain or thundershowers activity over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
On October 19, 2009, Lupit continued its westward journey, the third severe storm headed for the Philippines in wake of Ketsana and Parma. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image at 10:10 Manila time (02:10 UTC) on October 19, 2009. In this image, the massive storm spans hundreds of kilometers but is not yet near any major landmasses.
According to a bulletin from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued October 19 at 11:00 p.m. Manila time (15:00 UTC), Lupit had maximum sustained winds of 115 knots (roughly 210 kilometers per hour) with gusts up to 140 knots (roughly 260 kilometers per hour). Winds were forecast to diminish somewhat, but remain well within the range of typhoon strength, over the next 36 hours.
Available indications from international models suggest that the flows have indeed changed to being easterly and partly north-easterly over the peninsula.
But they are lacking in speed, largely due to the absence of a steering mechanism in the Bay of Bengal. What the basin has currently to offer is a weak trough/wind discontinuity to the south-west where north-easterlies jostle for space with remnant south-westerlies.
IMD charts on Monday showed a weak circulation over Sri Lanka and adjoining Tamil Nadu helping sustain the flows over the southern peninsula.
This could bring isolated showers over parts of the southern peninsula. Meanwhile, the Global Forecasting System model prognosis given out by the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction valid until October 27 suggested that the north-easterly flows may pick up some speed but largely skirt the peninsular coast to blow into Sri Lanka.
This is the phase when Typhoon Lupit, the latest strong weather system to stalk the west Pacific and the adjoining South China Sea, is forecast to tear into land twice over - the Philippines, followed by Vietnam/South China.
According to the London-based Tropical Storm Risk Group, Lupit is likely to achieve Category-4 strength, the second highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale of storm intensity, before weakening slightly on landfall.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts sees Lupit sliding into the South China Sea just west of the Philippines and gathering strength once again into typhoon status. It is forecast to head straight to the west, and would possibly brush past Hong Kong to make an eventual landfall over South China-Vietnam region around October 27-28.
The north-west to south-easterly flows associated with Lupit could likely take away available moisture in the Bay of Bengal, which explains the wind divergence leading to formation of wind discontinuity.
But the Bay would be watched for any remnant circulation that could be left behind by Lupit for triggering north-east monsoon.
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University has come out with its seasonal forecast suggesting maximum probability for excess showers for Sri Lanka during October-November-December.
Parts of adjoining south-east Tamil Nadu too are forecast to share the spoils while no big deviation from the usual pattern is forecast for the rest of the peninsula and the country at large.
An IMD outlook for the country said that isolated rain/thundershower activity could be expected over parts of northeast India during next two days. .
Minimum temperatures were above normal by 2 to 3 deg Celsius over parts of Rajasthan. But they are below normal by a same margin over parts of east Uttar Pradesh, interior Orissa, west Madhya Pradesh and interior Karnataka.
The mercury is expected to fall by about 2 deg Celsius over parts of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh during the next two days.
Satellite imagery on Monday showed convective clouds over parts of the Andaman Sea and south-west Arabian Sea. Isolated rain or thundershower has been forecast over Andaman and Nicobar Islands, south coastal Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep.
Hurricane Rick was a Category 5 storm on October 18, 2009, near the time when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image. Several hundred kilometers southwest of Baja California, the storm had winds of 160 miles per hour (260 kilometers per hour), down from an estimated 180 mph (290 km/h) the previous evening at 8:00 p.m. As of 8:00 a.m. PDT on October 19, Rick was predicted to move in a northeastward arc, perhaps grazing Cabo San Lucas on the tip of the peninsula before making landfall as a weakened storm in Mexico between Wednesday and Thursday.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Predicting the Weather by the Moon ... Ken Ring
This is the first book to present sound scientific evidence for the Moon's influence on our weather and how easily it can be calculated.
Most farmers, fishermen, geologists and nomads know that Full and New Moons bring weather changes. Yet the Moon is never mentioned in any official weather forecasts, nor is it factored into any weather-computer model. Metereologists cannot agree as to whether or not the Moon is a weather influence. Some say it is a small player and others say it is not a player at all. They accept that the Moon controls tides, but will not come out publicly and attribute the Moon to influencing anything else. They also admit to having no real long range forecasting system.
KEN RING discovered how much the Moon influences our weather by keeping and comparing diaries over a ten year period while living in a bus touring New Zealand with his young family. Using this Moon-based system, he has been predicting the weather with surprising accuracy. For a long time he has campaigned for yacht races to be held at Moon phase safer times. In July last year he correctly forecast the weather on Millennium Day, on New Zealand's Election Day, and just recently, for the Sydney Olympics.
PREDICTING THE WEATHER BY THE MOON reveals vital information on how the Moon affects our weather, based on sound mathematics, ancient divination techniques and recently-discovered data from space research. It explains how earthquakes, hurricanes, and extreme weather conditions can be foretold by looking at the distance of the Moon from Earth.
For two or three days at the time of every New Moon, the Moon shields us from the solar wind - that electromagnetic energy force-field put forth by the Sun. The old cultures knew that was the time for planting and fishing and so, over thousands of years they grew the lunar planting and fishing calendars. Data coming now from NASA suggests that lunar calendar systems used by many ancient and surviving cultures to determine seasonal climatic fluctuations indeed had a sound scientific basis. One might say that this is knowledge so old, it is now new again.
For more weather information, visit Ken Ring's website: www.predictweather.com
KEN RING is a mathematician with a passion for number. He is also a long-range weather forecaster. His forecasting columns a month ahead are syndicated throughout New Zealand, and are eagerly awaited by farmers, fishermen, pilots, travellers, and all kinds of event-organisers.
• Extremely practical do-it-yourself handbook for predicting the weather.
• First popular science book to explain clearly what the Moon is, and its influence on Earth.
• Combines science with the myths and legends of the Moon from prehistoric times.
• Shows how earthquakes, hurricanes, and extreme weather conditions can be foretold by examining the distance of the Moon from Earth.
• Explains how weather forecasters are now seriously beginning to look at the effects of the Moon and are in regular discussion on this with the author.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
is asthmatic, she has avoided buying crackers which emit thick smoke.
Diwali, the festival of lights and sweets, is also the time when asthma patients suffer from exposure to smoke. "I see 15 to 20 patients with spasms of asthma on Diwali day, as against four or five on other days," says Dr M Manimaran, pulmonologist and allergist. According to him, the trigger for the attack is heavy smoke from crackers like chakras, sparklers and snake tablets. "Children between the ages of six and 12 are particularly susceptible to the attack during Diwali," he added.
According to environment scientists, many of the crackers preferred by children are prepared with aluminum powder, sulphur and barium nitrate which give the rainbow coloured effect to sparklers. The smoke from bursting such items hangs in the atmosphere for long, and unless there are strong winds, the exposure to pollution is more.
Due precaution can mitigate the effects on people suffering from asthma, says Manimaran. "As a precaution, children should be put on a maintenance dose (medicine already prescribed for a patient's condition) a few days before the festival, and continue the same after Diwali for two days," he adds.
"Two puffs of the inhaler in the morning, and two more at night can soothe the airways." Mathan says the advice has worked for her in the past. In severe cases of asthma attack, children should be taken to a polyclinic and put on nebuliser for 10 to 15 minutes.
Dr Ashok Mahasur, chest physician at Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital, says the Indian weather in October allows pollutants to stay in the atmosphere for long. "Due to the weather change, pollution levels rise from October. And smoke from crackers means patients with respiratory disorders getting aggravated symptoms and sometimes acute attacks. We see a 30% rise in respiratory morbidity post-Diwali.''
The biggest culprits in terms of emission are chakras, colour sparklers, fire pencils, snake tablets and hydrogen bombs. Firecrackers should be burst on the terrace or open spaces, where there is adequate ventilation. But it is preferable if asthma patients stay away from crackers completely, said Pramod Niphadkar, a chest physician at St George Hospital, Mumbai. While avoiding the smoke completely may be impossible, those who have problems during Diwali often find it difficult to get doctors, as many of them would be on holiday. So patients are advised to be well-prepared with medicines and inhalers.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
On of the most memorable scenes of that film was how the peasants came out to dance as the first rains came to break the long dry spell of parched earth. Bimal Roy was at his best with direction, with the cinematography of Kamal Bose and music by Salil Choudhury combining to present an unforgettable piece of peasant festivity enjoying the rain that brought new hope. The story took a more harsh tone later; Bimal Roy presented the suffering of peasants under oppressive landowners, and brought out the poverty of India that still remains widespread. Critics described it was an important socialist statement in celluloid.
Strangely, I was not reminded of this by the floods that have caused so much destruction in India recently, killing hundreds and making millions of people homeless. My thoughts were turned towards rain, with all the talk we now hear of the coming monsoon in the north of Sri Lanka.
It was not long ago that there so many warning the world of an imminent bloodbath in the same region of Sri Lanka. The dire warning came from UN officials ready to blab in sync with questionable aid workers, and the ever present chorus of NGO types, always ready to see the worst about Sri Lanka. The international media were ready to lap up these warnings with great glee, and were rushing their correspondents to have a dip in the vast lake of blood that was being prophesied. The concern about this bloodbath went up to or almost the UN Secretary General, with everyone at the ready to call for a prevention of this carnage, and urging a ceasefire with the….yes, bloody LTTE.
When the war ended without the much canvassed for ceasefire, and the LTTE was decisively defeated, what the world saw instead of a bloodbath, was the sight of hundreds of thousands of people, who the world was told would perish in the bloodbath, rushing to safety and security in government held areas, fleeing the bloodlust of the LTTE. In the event, there was no bloodbath as prophesied, and there were also many, especially from the UN, who denied having issued such bloody warnings. It would go down in history as the long awaited bloodbath that never took place; much to the regret of those eager to see so much blood shed, to have the name of Sri Lanka forever dripping with the blood of innocents.
Now it is the turn of the monsoon wallahs. They are all waiting for and warning about the onset of the North East Monsoon in the North, especially the Vanni. Just like those who were so eager to see a bloodbath in those parts not many moons ago, the monsoon criers are eager to see the suffering the people will have to face as the monsoon rains come down.
This eager wait for the monsoon is not something strange. It is a continuation of the of the overall war strategy of the LTTE. The Monsoon Offensive was the biggest military thrust of the LTTE each year. The period also coincided with Prabhakaran’s birthday and the Mahavir Day Speech, vowing to establish the dream state of Eelam, which would have been a nightmare to the Tamils under its thrall.
Even last year, there was much being said about how the monsoon rains would compel the security force to pull back; how it will give new strength to the LTTE and how the government troops would be bogged down in the monsoon mud. Whistle-stop and nondescript foreign correspondents were coming down to watch the retreat of government troops as the monsoon rains lashed the Vanni. But their dreams did not come true. The troops moved on, and the call for a ceasefire by the LTTE and its many paid and unpaid proxies, be they peddlers of peace or policy alternatives in Sri Lanka, or those looking to profit from pro-LTE vote banks in the West, grew louder by the day.
That was the biggest failure of the LTTE’s Monsoon Offensive. It did not take much longer for it to be routed, amidst all those warnings about an imminent bloodbath that never happened. So, now we hear the new warning of another monsoon offensive. This time it comes from the do-gooders of the West, the Clinton- Miliband types; joined by the bandwagon of Big Mac eating hunger strikers in London, and similar striped friends in Toronto and elsewhere, crying out "Monsoon, Monsoon……it’s surely a coming". Watch out for a London protest against the coming monsoon in Sri Lanka.
The decibel levels of the monsoon criers get louder by the day, and the newscasts on foreign networks are reporting on the approaching monsoon in Sri Lanka, outside their weather reports. It’s monsoon madness that has hit the Sri Lanka watchers. People who are eager to see the IDPs in the relief centres suffer in water logged tents, as much as they hoped the troops would be stuck in monsoon mud last year. These are people who will never give up on a chance to have a bash at Sri Lanka. If you can’t beat it with blood, let’s bloody well beat it with rain, seems to be the thinking that’s in vogue among them.
Rain is often eagerly awaited by people, who depend on it for their livelihoods. Rain can also be feared by people, who know what the forces of nature unleashed can do. But to these monsoon criers, hardly able to shed a genuine tear for the IDPs, the expected heavy rains are a weapon, just as it was for the LTTE. It’s a weapon they’ve been waiting for several months, from the time their warnings of an imminent bloodbath went awry. They wait to reap an abundant harvest from what they hope will be the suffering of people, who have escaped the terror of their bloody tormentors. The signs are that just like those who cried out bloodbath, these will also wait in vain.
According to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) update, the `low' may already have been appropriated by a north-south trough and led to its weakening.
The IMD on Thursday evening detected the presence of this trough with merely an embedded cyclonic circulation over northeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood.
The system is forecast to bring in a fresh round of fairly widespread to scattered rainfall over the north-eastern States during next 24 hours and isolated thereafter.
Now, this can only hold up the withdrawal of the south-west monsoon on retreat, delaying the arrival of its northeast counterpart or the winter monsoon over the peninsula.
Isolated to scattered rainfall activity has been forecast over extreme south peninsula during the next three days in what is identified as `withdrawal symptoms' associated with the south-west monsoon.
The humidity levels would have come down to much lower levels and the skies stay clear for four to five days at a stretch before the south-west monsoon could be considered as having withdrawn.
Meanwhile, the pan-ocean trough linking the Bay of Bengal, the South China Sea and the west Pacific was evident on Thursday jointly held to place by a `low' each in all seas.
With the latest `low' having been accounted for by the north-south trough, the Bay would need to look for the next `window' for precipitating the north-east monsoon.
No model indicated the formation of a helpful circulation, though the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Centre of the US Navy expected the Bay circulation to track towards Sri Lanka, only to be stymied by opposing flows from the north-west.
The IMD streamline graphics on Thursday showed no evidence of the south-westerly flows over the peninsula; in fact, weak north-easterlies were on display, presumably not strong to trigger seasonal rains.
The IMD maintained the outlook for the arrival of a feeble western disturbance across the Western Himalayan region during the next three days.
On Thursday, the minimum temperatures were above normal by 3 to 4 deg Celsius over Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. They are below normal by 2 to 3 deg Celsius over parts of Indo-Gangetic plains.
No significant change in minimum temperatures is being forecast during the next two days but they are likely to fall thereafter. Satellite pictures showed convective clouds over parts of north Bay of Bengal.
An update from the Regional Met Centre, Chennai, said that rainfall was reported from a few places over interior Tamil Nadu and Kerala during the 24 hours ending Thursday morning. Isolated rainfall occurred over coastal Tamil Nadu, coastal and south interior Karnataka.
Forecast for the next two days said that rain or thundershowers are likely at a few places over Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, coastal and south interior Karnataka.
Isolated rain or thundershowers are likely to occur over Lakshadweep, Andhra Pradesh and north interior Karnataka.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Though modern shark hunting techniques provide an edge over the traditional method, shark catchers in Thoothoor and Chinnathurai regions of Kanyakumari, known the world over for their forte in deep-sea shark hunting, continue to use traditional methods (manual hooks and line) successfully.Sharks may have brought new economic benefits and profits to thousands of anglers, who work along the lush stretch of coastline in these fishermen hamlets, but their problems remain unchanged. Gone are the days when the anglers approached the boat owners to get a job for deep sea fishing. Now, every angler here has a boat. So the owners now have to run from pillar to post to get the anglers for deep-sea fishing. One phenomenon that has changed their marketing methods is the advent of the mobile phone. Eppin of Thoothur said that before he got his first cell phone a few a years ago, he used to arrive at port with a load of fish and hope for the best. The wholesaler on the dock knew that Eppin's catch would not last long in the scorching sun. So he was forced to take whatever price was offered. Now he calls several ports while he is still at sea to find the best price, playing the dealers against one another to drive up the price. "They are forced to give us more money because there is stiff competition," said Benitto, who estimated that his income had tripled to an average of Rs 5,000 a trip. Addressing their plights, Human Rights activist Justine Antony of Thoothur said: "Shark anglers are constantly away from home. The duration per voyage is 25 to 30 days. This makes them sojourners and aliens in their homes," he added. There is no regular income for the family. The share from each voyage is generally settled at the time of going home from their fishing base, which often takes a few months. They have no practice of sending money by demands draft, money order or cheque for the daily requirements of the family. This lands the family often in debt. The fishermen have to pay higher than the market price for diesel as they are not the natives of the place and find it difficult to get supplies. Workers prefer to go for fishing in the boats that have tape recorder, GPS, fish finder, etc. The boat owners, without these facilities find it difficult to get required crew.