Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source: Internet

Southwest monsoon breaks 74-Year rainfall record in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla, July 4

The Indian Meteorological Department recently announced that this year’s South West Monsoon has shattered rainfall records dating back to 1949. The monsoon, which began in last week of June, saw a remarkable 71% increase in rainfall compared to the historical average.

The India Meteorological Department Meteorological Centre reported that the state experienced widespread and fairly widespread rainfall activity during July. Particularly noteworthy were the vigorous monsoon days on July 7th, 8th, and 9th, which brought extremely heavy rainfall to isolated areas.

Himachal Pradesh witnessed its seventh-highest rainfall of 437.5mm between 1901 and 2023. The highest rainfall was recorded in July 1949, with 548.6mm. Notably, 2023 marked the second-highest rainfall since 1949 after 1980.

In July 2023, the state received a significant excess of precipitation, totaling 437.5mm compared to the normal 255.9mm for the same period. Among the districts, Sirmaur received the highest rainfall of 1097.5mm (151% departure), while Kinnaur experienced the greatest departure from normal with a 199% excess.

Also read:SW Monsoon withdraws from Himachal : IMD

Other districts also saw substantial excess rainfall: Solan with 735.7mm (178% departure), Shimla with 584.6mm (168% departure), Kullu with 476mm (159% departure), and Bilaspur with 469.7mm (69% departure). Districts like Mandi, Chamba, Hamirpur, and Una also received varying levels of excess rainfall.

The cumulative excess seasonal rainfall for the entire monsoon season up to July 31, 2023, reached 56%, with the state’s average cumulative rainfall at 558.1mm compared to the normal 357mm.

District-wise, Sirmaur led with a departure of 120%, followed by Shimla with 133% departure, Bilaspur with 66% departure, Solan with 123% departure, and Kinnaur with 118% departure.

July 2023 was a standout month, with the state receiving a maximum rainfall of 437.5mm (71% departure), marking a stark contrast to July 2011, which witnessed the lowest rainfall of 163.5mm (45% departure) within the 2010-2023 period.

Out of the twelve districts, eight experienced their highest-ever rainfall, with two districts ranking second and third highest. Sirmaur district recorded the highest ever with 1097.5mm, followed by Solan, Bilaspur, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnaur, and Lahaul Spiti.

In Hamirpur, the 479.1mm rainfall ranked as the second-highest, while Mandi’s 546mm stood as the second-highest, with Kangra’s 654.9mm being the third-highest recorded. Una received the third-highest rainfall compared to the peak in 2015.

The extraordinary rainfall also broke all-time 24-hour rain records. Una town in Una district witnessed its highest-ever single-day rainfall of 228.5mm on July 9, 2023, surpassing the previous record set on July 23, 1927. Similarly, Pachhad in Sirmaur received 220mm on July 10, 2023, breaking the record from July 26, 1973.

Renowned tourist spot Manali in Kullu also achieved a new record, with 131.3mm rainfall on July 9, 2023, surpassing the previous high of 105mm on the same day in July 1971. Other regions, including Keylong (Lahaul & Spiti), Rohru (Shimla), Ghamroor (Kangra), and Nadaun (Hamirpur), also set new rainfall records for July 9.


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