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Southwest Monsoon hits North East
Ajit Patowary
 GUWAHATI, June 14 - The Southwest Monsoon has covered the entire Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura (NMMT) Meteorological Subdivision today.

According to Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Guwahati, the Southwest Monsoon was active over the NMMT Meteorological Subdivision during the past 24 hours.

The RMC, in its press release on the advancement of Southwest Monsoon and Monsoon activity over the NE region this afternoon, said that the Northern Limit of the Southwest Monsoon is now passing through East Mangalore, Mysore, Salem Cuddalore, Agartala, Lumding, Passighat up to East Arunachal.

Conditions are becoming favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of Northeast India and some parts of North Bengal and Sikkim, among others, in the next two to three days.

Sources in the RMC described today’s rainfall activities over Guwahati and the rest of the western part of Assam as mainly convective in nature and said that it might not be directly linked with the Southwest Monsoon. The Southwest Monsoon-related rainfall activities were witnessed today over South Assam, parts of both Central and East Assam and eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh according to the daily weather reports of the RMC.

Meanwhile, renowned meteorologist Prof BN Goswami today attributed the soaring temperatures in the NE region during the past several days to a cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal. The cyclonic circulations over the Bay of Bengal specially influence the weather condition in the NE region.

Though the cyclonic circulations may delay the onset of Monsoon over India in general, it is unlikely to have a major role in preventing moisture incursion over the NE region.

Though there was a break in the rainfall activities this year over the NE region, after the onset of the Southwest Monsoon, hopefully the region is recovering from this break.

“I do not think that this break in rainfall activities and the soaring temperature have anything to do with the phenomenon of climate change,” said Prof Goswami who was a former Director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and one of the climate scientists who discovered the Indian Ocean Dipole Mode.

He highlighted the need of large-scale greening of the environment in the urban areas of the State to mitigate the heat island effect in these areas which have become concrete jungles with less green cover and open space.

It needs mention here that the discovery of the Indian Ocean Dipole is regarded to be an important milestone in the study of ocean-atmosphere interactions. Prior to its discovery, till the end of the 20th Century, climate scientists were of the opinion that the tropical Indian Ocean passively responded to and amplified the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) of the Central and East-Central Equatorial Pacific Ocean and their associated variations.

Prof Goswami discovered, together with NH Saji, PN Vinayachandran and T Yamagata, the IOD Mode in the Tropical Indian Ocean in 1999 and their research paper on the IOD was published in the September 23, 1999 issue of the Nature, the famous international journal of science.

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