Why is India seeing unexpected rains in the months of Peak Summer?
Irregular and unexpected rains in India are a sign of concern. The summer of 2023 has seen multiple thunderstorms and hailstorms in different places. Most parts of the country in these months are warmer and dry compared to other months. However, the change in overall weather patterns has resulted in unexpected rains and storms.
This has not only disturbed the daily activities of the citizen but hindered the life of farmers. Before we dive deep into the harm caused by unexpected summer rains let us understand its cause. Western disturbances are the sole factor responsible for such excessive rains, snowfall, cold waves and floods in summer. Let us understand what a Wester Disturbance means.
Western Disturbance causes unexpected rains!
Western disturbance is the extratropical storm that originates in the Mediterranean region. They are caused due to a temperature gradient due to the mixing of warm air from the tropics and cold air from northern polar regions. This storm travels through the black sea and the Caspian Sea absorbing the moisture towards the eastern direction. This brings sudden rain to certain parts of India. When these disturbances move across northwest India before the monsoon, we see unexpected changes in the weather.
Mild winter rain is considered supportive for rabi crops in February and March. However, if the rains come in April and May, it destroys them before harvesting. Moreover, when the heat is low during the pre-monsoon season, it largely impacts the arrival of the monsoon and delays it. India is an agricultural country, and rains are a crucial factor here.
The weather is becoming unpredictable in a warming world. However, the exact impact is yet to be explored. V.S. Prasad, the head of the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences shares, “This is still an area of active research. Due to the warming of the Arctic region, the frequency of the western disturbance occurrence over India should increase. Warmer sea surface temperatures in the western Indian Ocean can lead to increased evaporation, which can increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.”
How will unexpected rain harm us?
Farmers face a huge loss
Summer crops grow better in a warm atmosphere. When unexpected rains and hailstorms reach those farms, they damage the crops. As a result, the crops are destroyed or the growth process is hindered. The months of April and May are the time for harvesting wheat and other crucial crops. Rainfall in this month reduces the quantity of harvested wheat. Hail storms altogether destroy many crops causing immense loss to the farmers.
Vegetables & Fruits rot easily
With rain and hailstorm comes a lot of moisture and a wet atmosphere. Vegetables and fruits easily rot in this weather. This results in a shortage of food items compared to the regular need. The shortage of crops and damage result into increases prices. Basic vegetables and fruits become unaffordable for some people in the country.
It is not a conclusion, but an open question!
No direct correlation is made by any meteorological official between unexpected rains and global warming. However, the slow onset of a new weather pattern is a sign that something is changing in the environment. The harm caused due to this new pattern shows that it is not in harmony with our normal lives. The crops are being damaged and hindering the natural agricultural cycle.
The IMD issues regular bulletins about weather updates and precautions to be taken by farmers to save their crops. However, is there any way, we can bring this back to a state where the weather patterns and human lifestyles can be harmoniously?
Brinda shah is a freelance content writer. she is a ca turned into a writer who loves to read, write & meditate. you can connect with her on linkedin and on instagram