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Heavy rains in ghats likely from Friday, travel alert sounded

Pune: Avoid travelling on the highways this weekend, beginning Friday evening, as the Met department has once again put the ghats in Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra on a heavy rain alert. Heavy rains are expected over the next few days in these places, increasing the chances of landslides and flash floods.
A heavy rain warning has been sounded in particular for the ghat areas in Pune, Kolhapur and Satara.
The IMD has forecast heavy rains in several districts of Maharashtra from Friday, including Nashik, Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Aurangabad and Jalna, among others.
On Thursday evening, the warning of heavy rains at isolated places was extended to all ghat areas in Konkan-Goa and Madhya Maharashtra till July 22-23. The last time Maharashtra experienced a heavy downpour, Shirgaon ghat, Tamhini ghat, Dungarwadi ghat, Amboli ghat, Lonavala, Matheran, Mandangad, Mahabaleshwar, Mulshi and Igatpuri were among the areas which received triple-digit rains.
Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather, IMD Pune, told TOI that two active monsoon impulses are coming from both the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal as indicated by satellite pictures and prediction models. “Both systems are likely to pass through Maharashtra, especially via Marathwada and Vidarbha, and thus their effect on the state is expected to be intense. Ghat areas have been put on a heavy rain warning from Friday evening,” he said.
Kashyapi said rainfall activity is likely to increase in the ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra and Konkan on July 20-21, and may be slightly subdued here on July 22. “But even on July 22, the alert stays for the ghats in these two regions. On July 23 and 24, the ghats in south Konkan and south Madhya Maharashtra are again likely to experience heavy rains,” he said.
Kashyapi said very heavy rainfall is expected in Konkan and south Madhya Maharashtra around July 23. “Such heavy rain in the ghats can be particularly dangerous and roads could get blocked due to falling rocks from adjacent hill sides. The roads too will be very slippery due to continuous rains, which can be dangerous for vehicles. Chances of flash floods at picnic spots cannot be ruled and people are advised to avoid these places,” he said.

Kashyapi explained that the revival of rains from Friday evening is because of several factors, including the likelihood of the offshore trough from the Maharashtra coast to the Kerala coast strengthening. “A strong upper air cyclonic circulation is approaching from the Bay of Bengal (adjacent to the Odisha coast). This system will initially have westerly movement and will play a significant role in strengthening the Bay of Bengal monsoon branch, which will bring good rains over south peninsular India and Maharashtra,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mumbai city and suburbs will experience only light to moderate rains over the next few days. Pune city too is likely to record only light rains.