.........BHUBANESWAR: Even as the farming community of the State prepares to put behind the crop damage agony caused by back-to-back unseasonal showers, prediction of yet another weather system is scaring them.
The India Meteorological Department on Sunday forecast that a well-marked low pressure lying over the south-east Bay of Bengal will concentrate and head towards Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coast next week. The system is currently near the south Arabian Sea and the equatorial Indian Ocean. Alarmed by the prediction, the State Government issued alert to all Collectors directing them to take necessary measures to protect the paddy crop. The weather office said the well-marked low pressure may turn into a depression over the southeast Bay of Bengal and its neighbourhood during next 24 hours and intensify into a deep depression over the subsequent 48 hours.
Although the current prediction points at the system moving close to north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during next 3 to 4 days, it is likely to come to Andhra Pradesh coast. Under its impact, rainfall may commence from December 7 night onwards. Between December 8 and 10, the rainfall intensity will be higher, Director of IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office, which issued the alert, said under the influence of the system, low-intensity rainfall will occur over Koraput, Malkangiri, Gajapati and Ganjam on December 7. After that, coastal and southern districts will experience more downpour. “Model prediction says that Khurda, Puri, Ganjam and Gajapati may receive rainfall in the range of 60 mm to 70 mm between December 8 and 10,” Sahu said.
The system, he added, may not intensify beyond deep depression given the current sea surface temperature as well as cold conditions. “The cold and dry wind will not allow the system to concentrate further. There are chances of rain but there is less likelihood of strong wind,” he added. While this effectively points that the system may not turn into a cyclonic storm, the heavy showers may pose a threat to kharif harvest and even rabi cultivation.
The SRC office also issued an advisory to the farmers asking them to shift the harvested paddy to safe places and keep them under protection. Wherever harvesting process is approaching, farmers have been urged to go in for the harvest. Measures must also be taken to protect the paddy in mandis, the SRC office said.