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Weather: Monsoon: magic or misery?

September 08, 2012


During summer, monsoon rains are highly cherished. Clouds in summer are symbol of rains and a hope that a change in the hot weather will take place, even if for the time being.

Rain rejuvenates life and many people head towards recreational parks and gardens. Children usually rush out in the rain running about, shouting and playing on the streets. Sometimes the monsoon rains come suddenly and at times it stays cloudy for days before a light drizzle takes place. Humidity rises after a downpour with increased perspiration and one wishes for more rains.

Monsoon is usually known as the rainy season which is associated with seasonal winds and sea breeze blowing from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea in the southwest between May and September, caused by difference in temperature between oceans and the landmass resulting in heavy rainfall. In fact, as the landmass heats up, the hot air lifts up allowing moisture-laden wind blowing from oceans to move inland which results in monsoon rains.

The moisture-rich clouds move towards the Himalaya which blocks the winds from moving into Central Asia, therefore, causing winds to blow and storm clouds over this part of the subcontinent. As the Himalaya act like a barrier for the winds, the clouds rise further and the temperature drops and causes precipitation.

Our country receives torrential rains from June/July to September from the southwest monsoon. In early July monsoon is weak, but later in the month its strength increases which lashes many parts of the country. The roaring monsoon associated with thunder and lightening usually fades in August or extends into September.

Though beneficial for agriculture sector and electricity generation, sometimes the devastation of the monsoon rains is huge, ranging from flash floods, landslides, human and livestock mortality, sweeping agricultural fields and crops to destruction of human settlements and property.

Unfortunately, many places experience floods and heavy rains in monsoon which cause drains to become blocked because of accumulated rubbish. Therefore, special care needs to be taken for improved sanitation, and ensure healthy living and safety and avoid losses and damages caused by monsoon rains.

During monsoon it is essential to take some precautionary measures such as oral and external hygiene to stay fit. The common diseases that trouble us during these months are typhoid, malaria, jaundice, viral infections like cold and cough. In heavy monsoon showers, water becomes stagnant at different places which serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Water and food contamination is very common during monsoon period. Therefore intense care is required to keep healthy and safe. Moreover, special care should be taken to avoid contact with electric wires and other appliances to ensure safety.