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Heavy Rain Soaks India as Monsoon Advances; Heat Scorches Karachi

By By Jordan Root, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
June 24, 2015, 10:01:44 PM EDT

The monsoon season is underway in India with heavy rain expected to advance into more of northwest India as the week progresses.

Moisture from the Arabian Sea will continue to fuel the much awaited monsoonal rain across western India. This moisture will bring periods of rain and thunderstorms, some of which will be heavy at times through the middle of the week.

Meanwhile, far northwest India and neighboring Pakistan are still dealing with intense heat as they wait for monsoonal rains to arrive.

More than 600 people have died of heatstroke over the past week in Karachi, according to the Associated Press. The high temperature has reached or surpassed 38 C (100 F) for seven straight days, with a high of 45 C (113 F) on Saturday.

This magnitude of dangerous heat combined with power grid problems has heightened the risk for heat related illness and death across southern Pakistan. Monsoonal moisture will bring brief rainfall to the region this week; however, much of the time it will remain dry and unseasonably hot. Daily high temperatures of 38 C (100 F) or greater are possible into next week.


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An area of low pressure in the northern Arabian Sea will likely become an organized tropical system within the next 24 hours that will continue to bring the threat of flooding rainfall to northwest India during the middle of the week. This threat would be the greatest in Gujarat, to the north of Mumbai.

Unfortunately this tropical system will do little more than bring a slight chance for rainfall to Karachi as the city continues to sizzle.

Daily downpours, along with thick clouds and cooler air, will impact other coastal areas from Surat to Mumbai and farther south to Mangalore and Kochi.

"Many places will get 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) of rain daily due to the abundance of moisture in the region," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards. "A few places could even get higher amounts."

Mumbai was one of those locations to see higher amounts; more than 32 inches of rain has fallen since Friday. The rain shows no signs of letting up with daily downpours expected to continue this week.

Most of the rain across Mumbai falls during the summer monsoon months, with 23.09 inches normally falling in June. On average, the monsoon season begins June 10 in Mumbai. Rain arrived this season within a few days of average.

Another area that is expected to get above-normal rainfall through the first half of the week will be east-central India from north Hyderabad eastward to northern Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. This includes Visakhapatnam, Raipur and Nagpur.

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Rainfall exceeded 150 mm (6 inches) in parts of this region over the weekend and another 75-150 mm (3-6 inches) of rain can fall through the middle of the week.

Even though the heaviest rain will be focused on the western coast and in east-central parts of India, scattered showers and thunderstorms will be found across much of northern India, especially during the afternoons and evenings.

Moisture will increase across northern India and northern Pakistan, bringing locally heavy downpours from Islamabad to New Delhi and Patna. These storms will help to bring some relief to hot conditions that have been plaguing the region.

"The thunderstorm activity will turn more active this week around New Delhi, but the city will continue to escape the widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms that will occur to the south," added AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty.

As of June 22, India as a whole has reported 21 percent above-normal rainfall for the month, according to the India Meteorological Department. While this is a positive start to the monsoon season, a turn to drier weather during late June and July could still result in a below-normal monsoon season with negative impacts for much of the nation.

Monsoonal moisture plays a big role in crop farming across the country and the economy highly depends on it. While the rain is welcome at this time, too much can cause crop damage and create flooding. On the other end, too little will induce drought which can devastate crops and drinking supplies.

According to the AccuWeather Asia Summer Forecast, rainfall during this summer monsoon season is expected to be below normal which will lead to significant drought and devastating impacts on agriculture.

The monsoon will continue to push northward through the rest of the month, eventually reaching New Delhi toward the end of June.

The rain will also help hold temperatures at bay, giving some relief to the deadly heat that swept through the country in May. That heat wave last month was responsible for over 2,300 deaths across the country. Temperatures were so hot that they even melted roads in some cities.

Meteorologists Eric Leister and Adam Douty contributed to this story.

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