NEW DELHI: At least 13 states and union territories witnessed up to 1,800% more rainfall than the normal for a single day in the ongoing monsoon, causing widespread flooding, loss of life and property. Experts blamed this on climate change and warned that this could be the new normal.
The abnormality is such that even dry regions like Saurashtra/Kutch in Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan reported over 1,000 per cent more rainfall than the normal, data compiled by the IMD from June 8 to August 20 has revealed.
For instance, on August 11, Kutch and Saurashtra received 1,844% excess rainfall. Similarly, parts of East Rajasthan received 1,304% more rainfall in a day on June 19.
States like Himachal Pradesh saw a new record as the heaviest rainfall in a day since 2011 was reported on August 18 as state received 1,064% more for that day and it stood at 1,300% more for Punjab on the same day.
Similar trends are visible in parts of Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Goa. Majority of these states are facing floods. The centre has constituted an inter-ministerial team to visit 11 flood-affected states in the country.
The weather office says that impact of climate change on monsoon rainfall is visible in central India and East Coast over last few years.
“There are number of studies that show that even though total amount of rainfall is not changing over the years but number of light (moderate) rainfall days is decreasing and number of heavy rainfall days in increasing,” said Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General, IMD. Explaining the science behind changing weather pattern, Mohapatra said such rainfall anomaly is seen when a low-pressure system develops.
“Global warming is increasing temperature and it is not just surface temperature but the entire troposphere temperature is increased. This increases moisture-holding capacity, which means dark clouds and heavy downpour in short spell,” he added.