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A normal monsoon

India is supposed to have a normal monsoon this year according to almost all predictions by organisations that monitor the weather. As is Mumbai, where i live, and Palghar and Thane where Mumbai gets its water from.

Excellent. We’ll have water for one more year at least thanks to the normal amount of rain.

And yet, as of 30th June . .

There had been a cyclone each on the western and eastern coast of India in May.
A tornado ripped through a town in southern West Bengal.
The North-Eastern states, apart from Assam and Meghalaya, have had lesser-than-normal rainfall.
The monsoon stalled for two weeks over Central, Peninsular and North-Western India with accompanying heat wave comditions and night temperatures that refused to fall.
As a whole, India had 10% more rainfall than the long term average for June.

Phew! That’s a lot to comprehend.

The eastern coast of India has seen frequent cyclonic activity — Yaas was the fourth cyclone in three years to whip through northern Odisha and southern West Bengal. On the western coast, cyclones have been occasional visitors who have been becoming more frequent. Tauktae was the fourth cyclone in four years, something that has not been recorded till date.

A tornado in India. A tornado! The last one in India, i had read of, was in 1978 in New Delhi. 1978.

The North-Eastern states are receiving lesser rainfall year on year, in keeping with trends.

The monsoon stalled for two weeks over Central, Peninsular and North-Western India with associated heat-waves. Temperatures common in early June were felt in the beginning of July. Mumbai felt like a sauna during this period — worse than anything this experienced this summer.

Yet, rainfall was above average for the whole country for June. Large parts of the country got more rainfall in under three weeks than would be received in a month. Others got drowned out as the monsoon clouds got diverted. Yet, normal monsoon.

What, in the above scenarios seems normal?

As we, all around the world, try and get jabbed by vaccines to go back to normal, to me, it feels an appropriate time to ask, “What is normal?” Especially as it seems likely that our normal, whatever that was, that led us here. To the virus. To the lockdowns. To these weather patterns and events.

in trying to get back to ‘normal’, where are we going from here? At least, we, in Mumbai, may have one more year of water to drink while figuring that out.


Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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