Why we have every reason to be alarmed with the late withdrawal of the monsoon

Just when people were thinking that the rains have subsided, Mumbai was hit by heavy showers on Wednesday evening. In 2019, the withdrawal of monsoon was the most delayed in history (October 9) from the northwest regions of India like Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. It was 61 years ago that monsoon retreated on October 1 which was the previous recorded most delayed withdrawal. The annual monsoon season lasts from June to September and usually, the rains recede in the first week of September. The prolonged monsoon season this year wreaked havoc leading to floods and causing loss of lives and damage to properties in several parts of the country.

Most parts of India are still experiencing heavy rainfall and the IMD forecast for Mumbai doesn't look too good either. According to the weather bureau, for the next seven days, there is rain expected during the afternoon or evening. Here's a look at the forecast:

In 2019, India recorded the highest rainfall in the last 25 years. Many states like Bihar, Assam, Karnataka and Maharashtra among others experienced severe floods. Even Mumbai was brought down to its knees by incessant rains. This year, the city was at the receiving end of the highest rainfall season in the last 61 years.

Monsoon Withdrawal

Source: IMD's website

According to IMD, rainfall in excess of 12 cm over a 24-hour period is considered as very heavy rainfall. Rainfall in excess of 25 cm in the same time is considered as extremely heavy rainfall. This year, we had 560 extremely heavy rainfall incidents across the country. Compare this to last year's 321 extremely heavy rainfall incidents and you can't help but be worried about the generations to come.

So how does global warming impact the weather? To begin with, the atmosphere heats up when the land temperature rises. Due to this, the atmosphere absorbs and holds more moisture. When this happens in a low-pressure area, there are high chances of heavy rainfall.