Weather forecasts suggest that rain may pose a challenge during Durga Puja celebrations in Odisha. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a cyclonic circulation over the Southeast Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Andaman Sea is expected to move west-northwestwards, potentially leading to the formation of a low-pressure area in the central parts of the Bay of Bengal around October 20.
As per the forecast, rain may begin on ‘Shashthi,’ the sixth day of the puja. However, specific predictions regarding rainfall on ‘Navami’ and ‘Dashami’ are yet to be provided.
Meteorologist Umashankar Das from the Bhubaneswar Regional Centre of the IMD explains, “A cyclonic circulation over the Southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining Andaman Sea is likely to move west-northwestwards. Under its influence, a low-pressure area is likely to form around October 20 or 21. But it is too early to determine which part of the state will be affected.”
Weather scientist Sarat Chandra Sahu adds that coastal and south Odisha may experience rainfall first, with the possibility of increased rain in coastal and northern districts. A clearer picture is expected around October 21-22. Initial calculations suggest that Odisha may experience rain from October 23rd until the 26th or 27th, and there are indications that the predicted low-pressure area might intensify into a depression, though certainty is limited.
The uncertain weather predictions have raised concerns among puja organizers. Last year, Odisha faced cyclones in October, resulting in damaged pandals and inundated areas. To prepare for such possibilities, organizers are constructing structures capable of withstanding wind speeds of up to 70 to 80 kmph. While they remain hopeful and believe in the blessings of Goddess Durga, they acknowledge that persistent rain may affect attendance and the immersion ceremony.