Another record for Cherrapunji; 972 mm rainfall in a day

NEW DELHI, 17 Jun: Just two days after recording 811.6 mm of rainfall in a day, Cherrapunji in Meghalaya received a bountiful 972 mm of precipitation in 24 hours, ending at 8:30 am on Friday, the highest in June since 1995, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

One of the wettest places in the world, Cherrapunji has recorded more than 800 mm of precipitation on a June day on nine occasions since the IMD started keeping records, the IMD data showed.

Till Friday, Cherrapunji has received a total of 4,081.3 mm rainfall this month, Sunit Das, Scientist E at the IMD’s regional centre in Guwahati (Assam), said.

In 24 hours, ending at 8:30 am on Wednesday, the town nestled in the East Khasi Hills district gauged a copious 811.2 mm of rainfall.

On 16 June, 1995, Cherrapunji logged 1563.3 mm of rainfall. A day before, on 15 June, 1995, it received 930 mm of precipitation.

“It doesn’t always rain like this. Fifty-sixty cm is normal (in Cherrapunji) once or twice every year. But 80 cm and above is certainly not usual,” Das told PTI.

“A trough has been persisting over the region for some days and southwesterly winds have been continuously bringing a lot of moisture from the Bay of Bengal. These winds smash against the cliffs of the Khasi Hills and give rainfall,” he said.

Cherrapunji recorded 673.6 mm of rainfall on Thursday, 811.6 mm on Wednesday, 62.6 mm on Tuesday, 293 mm on Monday and 354 mm on Sunday.

The spell of extreme rainfall is likely to continue for one or two days. Thereafter, the intensity will decrease, the scientist said.

At an aerial distance of 10 kms from Cherrapunji, Mawsynram, the wettest place in India, gauged 710.6 mm of rainfall in 24 hours ending at 8:30 am of Wednesday, the maximum since June 1966.

On 10 June, 1966, Mawsynram had recorded 717.6 mm of rainfall. On 7 June, 1966, it had received 944.7 mm of precipitation, the highest on a June day since the IMD began maintaining records.

The town had gauged a 24-hour rainfall of 623.4 mm on 8 June, 2015.

“Mawsynram is at present the wettest place in India, with an average annual rainfall of 11,802.4 mm (average of the 1974-2022 period). Cherrapunji receives 11,359.4 mm of rainfall in a year (average of the 1971-2020 period),” Das said.

Overall, the Northeast and east India have received 220.3 mm of rainfall, 39 percent more than normal, since 1 June, when the monsoon season starts.

Meghalaya has gauged 865.7 mm of rainfall, 153 percent more than normal, since 1 June.

Arunachal Pradesh has recorded 253.1 mm of rainfall, 22 percent more than normal, while Assam has logged 372.9 mm of rainfall, an excess of 79 percent.

However, not all states in the region have seen good rainfall. Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura have reported a rainfall deficiency of 50 percent, 46 percent and 38 percent. (PTI)