Mumbai woke up on Monday morning to its first spell of pre-monsoon thundershowers of 2020 that brought some respite from record temperatures.
The showers arrived eight days earlier than last year when the city recorded its first rains on June 9, 2019.
Light rain with lightning flashes and thunder were witnessed across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) from 4 am onwards on Monday morning. Between 4.30 am and 8.30 am, the Mumbai suburbs recorded 0.2 mm rain. 2 mm was recorded in south Mumbai. Rain intensity reduced considerably post 7 am in most parts of the city that witnessed drizzling.
The minimum night temperature in the suburbs dropped from 29.2 degrees Celsius over the weekend to 26.8 degrees Celsius, and 24 degrees Celsius in south Mumbai which reported 27 degrees Celsius during the weekend.
HT had reported on Sunday that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted rain and thundershowers for Mumbai from June 1 onwards.
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Rain intensity, however, could increase in the coming days as the IMD on Sunday issued an orange alert (heavy to very heavy rain) for Mumbai and Thane, and a red alert (extremely heavy rain) for Palghar for Wednesday and Thursday in view of the developing cyclonic storm, Nisarg, in the Arabian Sea by Tuesday.
“Pre-monsoon showers over the city are under the influence of the low-pressure weather system over the Arabian Sea, which is moving steadily closer to the west coast and is likely to intensify into a (weather) depression soon. It has brought relief to Mumbaikars from high humidity experienced over the past week,” said an IMD official.
Under the influence of the prevailing weather systems in the Arabian Sea, the Maharashtra coast, especially north Konkan, is very likely to experience an active wet spell between June 1 and 4, the official added.
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The IMD will be releasing information later on Monday on the further intensification of the weather system and where it may make landfall between north Maharashtra and south Gujarat.
The Maharashtra government on Sunday said it was prepared to deal with the tropical cyclone if it made landfall along the coastline.
“A cyclone may land on our western coast in a couple of days. Though I feel this may not happen and the cyclone may change its direction, we are prepared. I am telling people from Sindhudurg to Mumbai, to be prepared. I urge our fishermen from going to the sea for four to five days,” said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in his address to the state on Sunday.
Meanwhile, if the weather system in the Arabian Sea intensifies into a tropical cyclone, it will be the first cyclonic storm to make landfall along the Maharashtra coast during June since 1891. Only two weather depressions, one in 1948 and the other in 1980 came close to the coastline but did not intensify into a cyclone.