Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mumbai City braces for more water cuts ..
Mumbai City braces for more water cuts ..
Mumbai City braces for more water cuts ..
Mumbai City braces for more water cuts ..
Mumbai City braces for more water cuts ..

"The days of monsoon madness" ..a Blog from Srilanka

October 17, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It was in the mid-1950s that I saw "Do Bigha Zamin" (Two acres of land) the groundbreaking, monumental and touching film by Bimal Roy that is credited with launching a new genre of Hindi films, before the name Bollywood was born. Inspired by Pearl S Buck’s novel "The Good Earth", Bimal Roy located the story in Bihar with its massive poverty among the peasants ad the harsh climate that made people long for rain.

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.

Monsoon strategy

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.
Mumbai City braces for more water cuts ..

`Low' advantage forfeited as rains drive into north-east

A low pressure area parked over east-central Bay of Bengal since Wednesday evening has on Thursday shifted to over northeast Bay of Bengal.

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.
FN-MOC of the US Navy expected the Bay circulation to track towards Sri Lanka, only to be stymied by opposing flows from the north-west.
IMD streamline graphics on Thursday showed a weak north-easterlies were on display, presumably not strong to trigger seasonal rains.
Chennai - So far till Sep-09, total rainfall for this year is very scanty.. we are behind by "-79%" of the total rain we should have rcvd.
Chennai - Normal monsoon set average date is around 15-Oct... this time it'll be after 26-Oct-09.
NE monsoon:: 2007 monsoon started on 22-Oct.. after that year we are expecting monsoon after 26-Oct-09... Very late indeed.
Chennai - Local Masjid near Pallavaram has arranged a "Rain prayer" .. everyone can attend the prayer.
Chennai - Diwali day's high temperature was 34.2°C (2:54pm)
Latest satellite shot 5pm, also shows a CLEAR Diwali evening for India ..
Chennai - Astonishingly clear, Hot and dry Diwali after long years of history.
Apocalyptic Cloud Spotted Over Moscow ..
Satellite shot of CLEAR looking India on this Diwali morning ..
Nagercoil - Some heavy showers have already seen over north-north-west mountain regions.
Nagercoil - For the past 3 days afternoons were like NE monsoon. .. with thunder storm forming over north mountains.
Chennai - A clear day as expected.
** Happy Diwali ** from Indian Weatherman