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Climate Change causing extreme weathers? Metrologist explains

Is Climate Change causing extreme weathers and incessant rainfalls? “Not much data to back the claim” says Metrologist

Indian Meteorological Department issued a ‘red’ warning of torrential rain for Sikkim and ‘orange’ warning of very heavy rain in Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Darjeeling in North Bengal till Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert for Sikkim and warned that the Himalayan state could experience heavy to very heavy rainfall, which could cause landslides. IMD also issued an orange warning for few north Bengal districts, including Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, and Alipurduar.

The persistent rains have cause innumerable damages to the roads, causing damage to hilly areas, landslides and threats of floods in the areas in close proximity to the rivers in Sikkim. People have had a substantial reason to hold concerns as numerous roads have been blocked and many directions to avoid travelling to North Sikkim have been issued due to the incessant rains.

Dr Gopi Raha, Metrologist in the Met centre, Gangtok, who is also a designated scientist, spoke with Sikkim Chronicle and cleared out the reasons for the wayward weather. “Actually what is happening is that there is a persistence of strong westerly wind flows in the upper levels of the atmosphere and in the lower levels there is a strong southerly flows which is bringing a lot of moisture from the Bay of Bengal.”

He added, “Due to the confluence of these two types of winds, the thunderstorms are going on and there’s a lot of heavy rainfall activities around North Sikkim.”

Assuring that the data shows forecasts of clearer weather to come, Dr Raha said, “From Thursday there will be improvement in the weather.”

“Generally the withdrawal of monsoons happen in the first week of October in these (Himalayan) regions, but this year the monsoon is still in play and hasn’t withdrawal, which definitely results in rainfall, now once the monsoon withdraws, we can expect clearer weathers.” Dr Raha reassured.

“Generally in the end of September and beginning of October, monsoons starts withdrawing from areas like UP and Bihar but we haven’t seen that phenomena this year, and it is more evidence that it is not just regions in the proximity of Sikkim that is facing these kinds of rainfalls and due to the delayed monsoon withdrawal this (weather condition) is happening.” Dr Raha explained.

“This is an occurrence that hasn’t been seen in the past few years but one such occurrence did happen last year during 18-20 October where East Sikkim faced a lot of rain, even after withdrawal of monsoon, this year it is within the season,” Dr Raha told explaining that freak rain falls have been sporadic but aren’t out of the ordinary.

There has been many studies that claim that Climate Change maybe one of the reasons for extreme weathers and freak occurrences but are there enough studies to back the claim, and is there sound science behind the phenomena? That is the question that is still persistent and has been one of the topics of discussions in big climate summits like CC Summits in the UN.

“Whether this is due to climate change or not, for that we need to study more and we need more cumulative data and peer reviews,” Dr Raha told Sikkim Chronicle.

“Climate Change does impact the weather and is causing extreme weathers and this maybe, maybe the cause of heavy rainfalls but as I said we need more studies to back this claim,” Dr Raha explained.

Telling that Sikkim is set to experience clearer and drier weathers in days to come Dr Raha said that the “data says there will be sunny, clear and dry weather for the next week from Thursday.”

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