What's the Monsoon like?

#1 May 31st, 2005, 05:45
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#1
In two weeks, I'm starting my first journey through Northern India. As I already knew and heard from other people on this forum, that's when the monsoon starts.
I know that everything is wet and the air is probably very humid during monsoon, but what I don't know:
  • During monsoon, how many times does it rain during the day?
  • How long does one rain shower take aproximately? (10 minutes, 4 hours,...?)
  • Are the roads covered with mud?
  • Can you dry clothes, or is it just too humid?
  • Is the rain anoying, or very welcome?
  • Some stories to tell about the monsoon?
  • Pictures of cities like Varanasi or Delhi during Monsoon?
  • ...
#2 May 31st, 2005, 08:05
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#2
In my opinion, the monsoon showers can be quite irritating. It does not rain continuously throughout the day, but there could be many brief showers. One or two of these could be "heavy to very heavy", to quote the weatherman's favourite phrase !

Yes, the road does get muddy at the sides and water fills the potholes at its centre. Grounds become wet and slushy.

The gutters, which are rarely cleaned, get logged with rainwater making it impossible for you to know their location; hence be very careful when you step off the footpath !

The worst is when the sun emerges between showers, it gets hot and humid as hell !

Clothes take much longer to dry, it'll help immensely if you have access to a washing machine or a dryer.
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#3 May 31st, 2005, 09:17
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#3
The intensity and the nature of monsoon showers vary across india. kerala, konkan coast, bombay, northeast etc are areas where it is heaviest. In many of these places it rains continuously for days together in the peak of monsoon. At least in kerala it is said ( no scientific statement, just local saying ) that the nature of monsoon is to rain for ten days at a stretch and ease out for the next ten days - rough cycles like these.

The overall temperature drops, and it gets quite pleasant. Humidity will be close to 100%, so drying clothes becomes a challenge. As shimla said, it gets somewhat warm and humid when the rains take a break and sun comes out.

It can be exhilarating or irritating depending on what your outlook is. The fact is that most of the outdoor activities get affected to an extent, but hey, if you have an umbrella and an attitude you can go anywhere.

Waterlogging is common, especially in cities. most drainage systems are clogged and there is a lot of effort every year to get it right before the rain. There is also the additional threat of diseases like cholera, jaundice etc.

the best place to enjoy monsoon are probably in the villages.

The sea generally becomes quite rough during the initial days of the monsoon and beaches are not safe. every year monsoon related storm surges eat up some of the coastal areas including some trees, houses etc.

The rivers swell, and sometimes breach their banks. that causes grief.

kids enjoy monsoon the most. opportunities everywhere to have a splash.

Monsoon is a good time to have ayurvedic treatments, it is said.

Heavy rain is really heavy. It just pours and pours relentlessly. you wouldn't even attempt stepping out on to the rain even for a second. it is quite normal to have a few days with 10 cm or more rain . really heavy rain is when it rains more than 10 inches (around 25 cm ) a day.

I personally love monsoon. I miss not being in kerala through the monsoon season. Here in hyderabad the extent and intensity of the rainfall is relatively less, and you get breaks from the rain quite often to do your stuff.

some monsoon memories from a typical kerala village:
- a tea from the roadside tea stall, with the rain pouring heavily all around. that is divine
- waking up in the morning and walking outside ( especially if you are in a village ) after it has rained heavily during the night
- the sound of frogs going crazy in the night
- going up to the river every morning and checking out the water level.
- walking around aimlessly in heavy rain, with an umbrella for protection. the sound of rain on the umbrella.
- the general feel when the sun comes out in between. The air becomes quite clean and crisp, and the plants and trees shine with their leaves cleansed of all the dust. dragonflies take off into the air searching for for the next flower.
- a dip in the river ( not when is in full flow!! ) while it is raining. it is magical.
- a trip across the river in a country boat in heavy rain. it is somewhat adventurous..
- and catching a cold or a fever, and lying down in bed, covered in blankets, listening to the rain outside...
- and last but not the least : sex and monsoon is a potent combination... ask bollywood directors

-------
Some monsoon pics from the web:





miles to go....

Bigzero's Photo Gallery
#4 May 31st, 2005, 09:35
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#4
And coming back to ground realities, monsoon is not the best time to travel. Be prepared for train delays, traffic jams, road blockages, etc. And in cities, it sometimes become a bit of a hassle to get from point A to point B. You may like to avoid stepping on the water puddles, but sooner or later you may have to step through. All depends on how fussy you are with all this. You will enjoy the experience if you are prepared to, otherwise, you could be quite irritated.
#5 May 31st, 2005, 10:59
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#5
Beautiful post, Bigzero

And that B&W photo of the guys with umbrellas... superb
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#6 May 31st, 2005, 11:42
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#6

Monsoon

Zypher,

During monsoon, ask, how many times does it not rain during the day?
- It could rain all day and probably not shower twice or thrice in between.

How long does one rain shower take aproximately? (10 minutes, 4 hours,...?)
- Depends upon how lucky you are and how much you would enjoy the rains. it ranges from 5 minutes to 15 hours.

Are the roads covered with mud?
- you ask it, you got it. Mud, muck, the works.... !!!

Can you dry clothes, or is it just too humid?
- it's just wet. Why bother to dry it. light clothes could dry overnight, under a cieling fan.

Is the rain anoying, or very welcome?
- it's like a guest on long-stay. welcome in the beginning and annoying as it goes.

Some stories to tell about the monsoon?
- horror as it buildsup. floods, power outages, communication failure. Surface transport traffic could come to a standstill.

Pictures of cities like Varanasi or Delhi during Monsoon?
WET WET WET....., Water everywhere. It's fun.
...
#7 May 31st, 2005, 15:02
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#7
I'm going to Mumbai for the month of July.
Does this mean that I should take rubber boots with me??
Do the locals just walk in the mud or do they have some good equipment?
#8 May 31st, 2005, 16:00
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#8
Looks like the monsoon isn't that bad after all. Glad to hear...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamboo I'm going to Mumbai for the month of July.
Does this mean that I should take rubber boots with me??
Do the locals just walk in the mud or do they have some good equipment?
I'm gonna bring my hiking (class B) boots with me.
They're made of Nubucks leather, but I don't really know whether these kind of shoes are good to wear during monsoon.
#9 May 31st, 2005, 16:13
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#9
In the passing I can recommend an interesting reading on monsoons;

Frater, Alexander
Chasing the Monsoon: A Modern Pilgrimage Through India : Frater, Alexander
ISBN: 9780786116164

I have enjoyed this book and cant think of any modern variant in the same genre. Alex starts off from kerala on the date given by mat deptt when monsoon breaks over kerala and inky clouds start travelling on north along the Western Ghats and collide with eastern streams over ganga plains on a journey made at steady speed of 10 knots. He travels up with clouds and sees along the way what monsoons mean to Indian masses.
#10 May 31st, 2005, 16:45
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#10
hi,
i looking for some monsoon forecast for this year, where can i find this info. we plan to visit india next month.

thanks
dan
#11 May 31st, 2005, 17:10
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#11
This link will give you an idea of the extent of rainfall across India in the Jun-Sept period..

http://www.imd.ernet.in/section/clim...p-rainfall.htm
#12 May 31st, 2005, 17:14
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#12
... and this link gives an indication on the normal dates for onset of monsoon in different parts of the country.

http://www.imd.ernet.in/section/clim...soon-onset.htm

the official word so far is that there is a delay of about a week this year.

p.s. both links are from Indian Meteorological Dept website..
#13 May 31st, 2005, 17:38
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#13

Monsoon

Bamboo,

Rubber boots should be a good idea, during monsoons.
Special equipments? hmmm.... Carry an umbrella and maybe wear a nice rain coat.

Zypher,
I dont think nubuck shoes would serve the purpose.

Guys, dont be scared of the monsoons anyway. We all have been living with it.

Its great fun if you look at it that way.
#14 May 31st, 2005, 18:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigzero ... and this link gives an indication on the normal dates for onset of monsoon in different parts of the country.

http://www.imd.ernet.in/section/clim...soon-onset.htm

the official word so far is that there is a delay of about a week this year.

p.s. both links are from Indian Meteorological Dept website..
Thanks alot for this info, really very usefull website.
It seems that I won't see too much of the monsoon, since I'm starting in Varanasi the 15th of june and are then heading west until the 5th of july.
#15 May 31st, 2005, 18:23
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#15
Bigzero> nice pics and thanks for the info

What is the status of water tables in Kerala and Mumbai during the monsoon-periods? does it effect the level of ground water alot?
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