The pre-monsoon heat is now building rapidly across South Asia ahead of the pending summer rains. As those temperatures continue to creep up we are now seeing our first wave of floods developing over parts of the region.
The hottest weather so far has been recorded over the central and northern Plains of India. Temperatures here are around five degrees above average. On Sunday a high of 46.3 Celsius was recorded at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Conversely, temperatures are below average in northeastern India, with highs around eight degrees below average over West Bengal and Sikkim. That is because these parts of India along with much of Bangladesh have been shrouded by thunder clouds recently.
Days of incessant, heavy rainfall have swollen the Brahmaputra River flooding parts of the Majuli river island in Jorhat, which is Assam state’s second largest city. Floodwaters have breached a dyke here and submerged 350 hectares of farmland in the process.
These floods have come earlier than in the past few years and there has already been a loss of crops as the waters continue to rise. On Sunday, the heaviest rainfall recorded was in Agartala, the capital of the state of Tripura and second largest city in North-east India after Guwahati.
In Agartala we saw 89mm of rain in 24 hours. The city lies on the bank of Haora River and is located 2 km from Bangladesh. Further south, on the other side of the Ganges, Cox’s Bazar had 72mm of rain.
The offending area of low pressure responsible for the rain looks set to stay in place for much of this coming week. Further flooding looks inevitable.