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Kerala receives record rainfall in century

Untimely and heavy rain to hit quality of yield and production badly, says expert

Published: 16th November 2021 06:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2021 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state has recorded an all-time high rainfall during Northeast Monsoon this year since 1901, though the season is only midway. It has received 244.4mm rainfall till November 15 against the average of 103.8mm, an excess of 136%. The earlier highest rainfall was 823.3mm in 2010.

Already, the pre-monsoon period (March 1 to May 31) saw the sixth highest rainfall of 750.9mm in the recorded history of over a century against the normal 361.5mm under the influence of cyclones Tauktae and Yaas, netting 108% excess than normal. 

Further, this is the seventh consecutive month the state is receiving heavy to very heavy rain, which is likely to have adverse effects on the yield and income of the farmers in many respects. First, May saw 569.5mm rainfall, a 155% excess, against the average of 223.7mm. June and July, the period during which Kerala traditionally gets the highest rainfall, witnessed deficient rainfall — 33% and 20%, respectively.

But August and September saw the monsoon reviving like last year. And in October this year, the state got 589.9mm rainfall against the average of 303.4mm. It is the highest ever recorded October rainfall in the state. However, the untimely, excess and extreme rainfall is dashing the hopes of farmers in the state, apart from the revenue and property losses. 

Speaking to TNIE, B Ajithkumar, head of the Department of Agricultural Meteorology, Kerala Agriculture University, said, “Though a healthy rainfall is beneficial for the crops and farmers in general, the unseasonal extreme rainfall events will have an adverse impact on the quality and production and, consequently, the income of farmers.” “The untimely heavy rain will damage flowers of Mundakan rice and other crops. Farmers will face more damage in terms of quality,” he said.

Rain fury

Top Northeast Monsoon rainfall years (in mm)* 
2021:     833.8 (against seasonal         normal till Nov 15 of 407.2)
2010:     823.3 (against seasonal         normal of 491.6)
1977:     805.4 
1946:     741.2

* Northeast Monsoon period: October 1 to December 31

Pre-monsoon rain (March 1 to May 31) 

2021: 750.9mm against normal         of 361.5mm
Highest summer rainfall:  915.3mm in 1933
Lowest summer rainfall: 90.0mm in 1983 

Southwest Monsoon  (June 1 to Sept 30) 

Highest rainfall: 3,451.3mm in 1924 (which is known in Kerala as Flood of 1099)
Lowest rainfall: 1,104.3mm in 1918 

(when there was the earliest onset)

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