Pune’s Unusual Pre-Monsoon Showers Spark Concerns Among Meteorologists

Pune's Unusual Pre-Monsoon Showers Spark Concerns Among Meteorologists

Pune's Unusual Pre-Monsoon Showers Spark Concerns Among Meteorologists

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Anupam Kashyapi explains that such high winds are almost unprecedented in Pune’s pre-monsoon history. He attributes these conditions to a combination of extremely dry soil, high temperatures and accompanying dust storms. 

20 May 2024

By Ishika Kumar

In recent weeks, Pune has been experiencing pre-monsoon showers that are not only providing much-needed relief from the scorching summer heat but are also presenting an unusual and concerning weather pattern. Meteorologists have taken a keen interest in these particular kinds of showers which are taking place, as both their timing and intensity are atypical for this time of the year.

Unprecedented Wind Speeds

One of the most striking anomalies accompanying this year’s pre-monsoon showers is the extraordinarily high wind speeds. Anupam Kashyapi, the former head of weather forecasting at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), highlights that these wind speeds are nearing those of a squall. Typically, Pune sees wind speeds between 30 to 40 km/h during pre-monsoon showers. However, this year, wind speeds have surged to between 50 to 60 km/h and have occasionally even peaked at 70 km/h. 

Kashyapi explains that such high winds are almost unprecedented in Pune’s pre-monsoon history. He attributes these conditions to a combination of extremely dry soil, high temperatures and accompanying dust storms. “The wind speed is almost like that of a squall,” he remarked, accentuating the unusual nature of this year’s weather.

Defining the Squall

The IMD defines squally weather as conditions characterised by strong gusty winds of at least 20 knots (approximately 37 km/h), usually accompanied by rain. These conditions are typically associated with low-pressure systems and often signal the onset and strengthening of the monsoon. The current pre-monsoon showers in Pune fit this description very closely, raising concerns among meteorologists about the potential impacts of it on the region.

Impact on Pune

The high wind speeds have already caused significant disruptions in Pune. Over the past week, there have been two incidents of hoarding collapses and several cases of trees being uprooted. These events have highlighted the potential dangers posed by the current weather conditions. The gusty winds are expected to persist for the next few days, further heightening the risk of similar such incidents.

Broader Meteorological Context

The unusual pre-monsoon weather in Pune is occurring against the backdrop of extreme heat waves in the northern parts of India, where temperatures have soared above 40 to 42 degrees Celsius. This intense heat is contributing to the formation of low-pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal, which are crucial in determining the movement and onset of the monsoon. The IMD has forecasted 31st May as the onset date for the monsoon this year, and meteorologists are closely monitoring these developments.

Expert Insights

Meteorologists are not only observing the immediate impacts of these weather patterns but are also considering the broader implications of it, which might present itself later as a significant threat. The high wind speeds, combined with the dry soil and dust storms, create conditions that are more severe than usual. These factors are contributing to the formation of squally weather, which is completely atypical for Pune’s pre-monsoon season.

“Normally, we would not expect such high wind speeds with pre-monsoon showers,” Kashyapi noted. “The extremely dry soil, coupled with high temperatures and dust storms, is likely driving these unprecedented wind speeds.”

Future Projections

As Pune continues to experience these unusual weather patterns, the IMD and meteorologists remain vigilant. The development of low-pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal will play a crucial role in shaping the upcoming monsoon season. The heightened wind speeds and their associated risks are expected to continue for several more days, necessitating close monitoring and preparedness.

Residents are advised to stay informed about weather updates and take necessary precautions to mitigate the risks posed by the high winds and potential storms. The city’s infrastructure, including hoardings and trees, may be particularly vulnerable during this period.

In conclusion, the unusual pre-monsoon showers in Pune this year are a reminder of the complexities and unpredictability of weather patterns. While providing some relief from the heat, they also bring significant challenges and risks. As meteorologists and the IMD continue to monitor the situation, residents must stay vigilant and prepared for the potential impacts of these unprecedented weather conditions.