Weather: Heavy rains are likely to continue at least until the end of August according to the weather report that the Department of Hyro-Met Services submitted to the Prime Minister.

Hyro-Met forecasts show that the monsoon is likely to continue through September. As predicted, southern dzongkhags experienced continued heavy rainfall on July 25 and 26. The department in May during the National Climate Outlook Forum said that the monsoon this year would be normal or above normal.

The chief meteorologist with the department, Tayba Buddha Tamang, said there will be a slight decrease in intensity in the next five to seven days.

“Monsoon hits its peak in July. So the country in the next few days might get regular rainfall, but not as heavy as we did in the past few days,” he said.

According to the report submitted to the Prime Minister, extended-range forecasts from the region points towards increased rainfall during the later periods. “This monsoon is expected to grow in intensity at least up till the end of August guided by our past experience and normal climatological trend…Looking at the near future, Bhutan is in for flooding rains by July end.”

This year, the influence of the East Asia Monsoon is perceived to be stronger than normal as it has been active with already several intense tropical systems taking place and the continental landfalls persisting over longer time and space.

“All we can do is keep our fingers crossed and await an early birth of La Niña,” said the report.

On a positive note, a strong low-pressure area is likely to form off the Odisha coast, India on August 1, 2016.

“How sustainable it will be, and where it goes, remains to be seen,” said the report.

Extremely heavy rain of more than 100mm occurred in the southern parts of the country during the second half of the last week. Satellite images show low-level cloud coverage over the country. Most parts of the southern foothills can be seen shrouded in dense cloud.

The Sershong weather station in Gelephu recorded 384mm on July 23.

In the southern belt, particularly in Sarpang, there has been persistent and heavy rain since July 18.

During the second week of July, rainfall has been average or below normal.

Tayba Buddha Tamang said that the department is constantly monitoring the weather and water levels.

“Whenever there is an extreme event on weather and water, we monitor and update the information,” he said.

Tshering Palden