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Monsoon low to exacerbate flooding in Mumbai this week

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 8/4/2020 Maura Kelly

Monsoon activity will pick up intensity across parts of India this week with one city expecting more than a month's worth of rainfall by the end of the week.

Sinlaku, which developed into a tropical system in the South China Sea about a week ago, strengthened into a tropical storm before spreading downpours and gusty winds to extreme southern China, Vietnam, Laos and northern Thailand through the weekend.

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While the mountainous terrain of this region worked to rip the storm apart, some leftover energy and moisture survived the trek and emerged over the Bay of Bengal through the beginning of the week. This aided in the development of a monsoon low over the bay on Tuesday.

The monsoon low is expected to bring a round of heavy rain and thunderstorms across parts of Myanmar, Bangladesh and northeastern India as it begins to shift west on Wednesday.

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According to AccuWeather Lead International Meteorologist Jason Nicholls, a general track to the west across northern and central India will be in a swath of rain, some heavy, across Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and northern Maharashtra to Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan.

"Moderate to locally heavy rain could reach as far west as southern Pakistan, including Karachi, by the weekend," he added.

Rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) are expected across this region through the end of the week.

Meanwhile, persistent westerly winds along the coasts of southern Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala will continue to produce areas of heavy thunderstorms through the rest of the week.

With repeat downpours expected across the same areas into Friday, rainfall totals can climb to 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) along the western coast of India.

An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 300 mm (12 inches) will be possible, especially in Gujarat and Maharashtra where the monsoon low and moist flow from the Arabian Sea can combine forces.

Any thunderstorms can bring frequent lightning strikes to the area, and residents are urged to seek shelter indoors at the first rumble of thunder. Flash flooding and mudslides will also be likely, especially in areas that have been dealing with ongoing flooding issues this monsoon season.

One such area is Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra, which was inundated by floodwaters on Monday night. By Tuesday morning, officials had issued a red alert as flooding and landslides caused travel disruptions across the city.

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People wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus try to make their way through a waterlogged street during heavy rain in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. India's monsoon season runs from June to September. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

"Trains, already running skeleton services due to the novel coronavirus lockdown, were suspended in several places because of flooding, and traffic was disrupted on some of the city's main roads," stated a report from Reuters.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) official K.S. Hosalikar, some suburbs reported more than 300 mm (12 inches) of rain in just 24 hours on Monday and Monday night.

The red alert will remain in place over the next couple of days in anticipation of the next round of flooding rainfall.

On average, Mumbai typically receives 493.8 mm (19.44 inches) of rainfall throughout the month of August. During the monsoon season, which runs from about June to September, the city records about 2,066 mm (81.33 inches) of rain.

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