The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Last bite as monsoon prepares to retreat

Guwahati, Oct. 5: The retreating monsoon left several parts of the city waterlogged on the first day of Durga Puja, while the weather office warned of downpours at several places across the Northeast.

The only solace for the revellers was that there were few chances of heavy rainfall, barring in some districts in north Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

H.G. Pathak, the director of the Regional Meteorological Centre here, said the monsoon generally withdrew from the region during the second week of October and several factors caused spells of rain and thundershowers during this period. He said this situation is termed as the “finishing task” of the monsoon.

“The Met office’s forecast system has found that rainfall is likely early in the morning and late in the evening during Durga Puja in different parts of the region, including Shillong, Kohima and Agartala. In the daytime, the sky will remain cloudy and the sun will be missing, particularly in Guwahati and its adjoining areas. But there will be no rain during the day,” said H.N. Das, senior meteorologist at the centre.

He said the maximum temperature in the capitals of the northeastern states would hover between 30 and 32 degrees Celsius while the minimum would be somewhere between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius.

According to Das, there would be rainfall at several places in northern Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim because of western disturbances. On the possibility of Puja festivities being dampened, Das said it would depend on the amount of rainfall at different places.

He said the people could enjoy themselves since there should not be any rain during the daytime.

“If there is no heavy rainfall early in the morning and the sun comes out, it will be pleasant weather,” he said.

The forecast has become a matter of concern, particularly for the residents of Guwahati, who have to go through the ordeal of waterlogging after every single shower.

“More than rainfall, we are worried about the waterlogging that brings life to a grinding halt,” said Sikha Sarma, a resident of Nabin Nagar, after negotiating a water-filled street on her way to a spot of last-minute shopping.

On the other hand, Rajesh Chakraborty, a bank official, said a small amount of rainfall would be welcome, as it would keep the temperature low.

“But rain or shine, my family is determined to enjoy the festival. The spirit of Durga Puja cannot be dampened by rain,” he said.

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