The convergence of weather systems from European nations, including Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, collided over Himachal Pradesh, unleashing a monsoon havoc across the region. Notably, this monsoon onslaught was not solely the work of the seasonal rains but the result of an active western disturbance that intensified the monsoon’s impact, enveloping the rugged hills of the Devbhoomi. Originating from the Andaman Sea, the western disturbance links with the Arabian Sea and Caspian Sea, amassing moisture from these regions.
Simultaneously, the monsoon coming from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea advanced up to the foothills of the Himalayas, an occurrence quite unusual for this time of the year. The devastating scenario has led to a common question: why is Himachal Pradesh witnessing such intense destruction this time? The monsoon reached Himachal Pradesh on June 24th, but prior to its arrival, the active western disturbance had already caused heavy rainfall.
The deluge commenced in May, marking the beginning of a spell of intense rainfall. For years, such pre-monsoon downpours had not been witnessed. These early indicators provided warnings of what was to come. The behavior of this western disturbance mirrors the behavior of monsoons at their peak. One could describe the impact of heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh as a double-engine phenomenon.
“This monsoon has extended its reach further than ever before, all the way from the Himalayan region to the foothills, a region usually encompassing the plains. The western disturbance has amplified this extension. For this monsoon season, a low-pressure area of nearly one kilometer has formed, which is quite exceptional. This is a key factor for the excessive rainfall in the region, complemented by global climatic triggers.” – Suren Pal, Director, Meteorological Centre, Shimla