This year, the popular hill station of Mahabaleshwar (Mumbai) has received more rain than Cherrapunji in Meghalaya. Known as one of the wettest places on earth, Cherrapunji has, however, received below normal rain this year.
A report appearing in the The Indian Express stated that since the onset of monsoon this year, Cherrapunji has recorded 4730.2 mm of rainfall, almost half of its seasonal normal of 8609.6 mm. Normally, between June and August, this station records rainfall amounting to 7520.3 mm.
The report further stated that Mahabaleshwar, this year, has recorded 5619.8 mm till August 28, surpassing the seasonal normal of 5530.1 mm. The normal rainfall between June to August in the hill station stands at 4958.3 mm, as per data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“Though we see such trends and both hilly regions receive rainfall due to different weather systems, a similar scenario was last recorded in 2013. That year, rainfall at Mahabaleshwar was 1463.8 mm more than that recorded at Cherrapunji,” P Guhathakurtha, head of IMD’s Climate Data Management and Services, said.
As per IMD data from the last 13 years, Mahabaleshwar has recorded above normal rainfall in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2013. However, the entire high-rainfall area covering North East India, as on August 28 last, was 27 per cent rain deficit. Other regions such as central India (0 per cent) and peninsular India (+9 per cent) have either recorded surplus or normal rainfall, so far.
AK Srivastava, head of the IMD’s Climate Monitoring and Analysis Group, said in the three months of the ongoing season, monsoon currents remained strong for nearly one-and-a-half months, bringing bountiful rains over central, west, north and peninsular India.
“Most weather systems formed over the Bay of Bengal moved westwards, depriving the North East of rains. In addition, good rainfall is recorded over the North East region whenever the monsoon currents are weak. During this phase, rest of India usually experiences a dry spell,” said Srivastava.
He pointed out that along with North East India, parts of Tamil Nadu also receive a good spell of rain whenever monsoon is subdued over peninsular, Central, West and North India, he noted. “But these trends have not held true in recent years, with monsoon becoming highly erratic in nature,” stated Srivastava.