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Rain buckets of India - Cherrapunji, Mawsynram fall short of the target

July 4, 2021 12:18 PM |

Cherrapunji rains

Cherrapunji and Mawsynram are two rainiest places in India and possibly top-ranking even in the world. Cherrapunji is located at 91.73°E & 25.27°N and Mawsynram about 15km straight line distance to the west at 91.58°E &25.3°N. Hilly terrain makes the driving distance of about 80km between the 2 locations, having nearly the same elevation of 4600’. Both sites are located on the slopes of Khasi hills in the picturesque state of Meghalaya.

Cherrapunji receives about 11,620mm of rainfall annually, 3/4th of which is realized in the monsoon months from June to September. July and August are the rainiest months getting 2/3rd of monsoon rainfall (8450mm). Normal rainfall for the month of June (2511.7mm) is nearly 3 times the annual rainfall of Delhi. June 1966 had recorded an all-time high rainfall of 5832.3mm and June 2016, the lowest at 1075.8mm.

June 2021, though has not disappointed largely, yet fallen way short of the target by scoring 1734mm of rainfall. This huge total included one triple century (316mm), two double centuries (221mm & 224mm), and three centuries (102mm, 104mm, & 111mm) in 24 hours duration. Irrespective of such heavy falls, the town does not get waterlogged or inundated, and the downpour quickly flows down to the south-facing slopes of Bangladesh.

With the monsoon trough lying along the foothill from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, monsoon activity is subdued over many parts of the country. However, such a situation is very favorable for widespread rainfall over Northeast India in general and heavy rainfall over Meghalaya including Cherrapunji in particular. Very heavy downpour is expected over and around Cherrapunji, also called by its original name ‘Sohra’, in the next 48 hours. Moderate to heavy showers will continue for the subsequent 3-4 days also. July is going to have a wet start for the city of waterfalls, the most prominent being the waterfall of seven sister states of Northeast India.

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