Mawsynram: World’s wettest place, sees its rainiest day

Mawsynram, the wettest spot on earth, received 1003.6mm of rain in 24 hours, the highest single day downpour ever recorded at the station, while neighbouring Cherrapunjee logged its third highest 24-hour rainfall.

The amount of rain recorded at Mawsynram from 8.30am on Thursday to 8.30am Friday, is 16 times higher than the average weighted rainfall in India in June so far. In the 17 days of monsoon so far (June 1 to 17), India has received an average of 61.1mm of rain. Cherrapunjee, the second wettest place on earth, got 972mm, its third-highest single-day rainfall. Mawsynram and Cherrapunjee (locally known as Sohra) are in the southern fringes of Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district and overlook the plains of Bangladesh.

The typical shape of the catchment area, together with its orography (topographic relief of mountains), contributes to the enhancement of convergence of moisture coming from the Bay of Bengal, resulting in such extremely heavy rainfall in these two places.

The contributions from these two places have pushed the east and northeast regions to the top of the monsoon rainfall list. With a cumulative average rain- fall of 220.3 mm in the last 17 days, this is the only region getting excess rainfall. The rainfall deficit is 63% in the northwest region, 57% in central India and 24% in southern peninsula region. The SW monsoon hit the country in Kerala on May 29 and entered the northeastern region on June 2. According to the Guwahati regional weather forecasting centre, Cherrapunjee’s wettest day was recorded on June 16, 1995, when it received 1563.3mm of rainfall. As per the World Meteorological Organization, Cherrapunjee holds the world record for maximum two-day (48-hour) rainfall at any  station, with 2,493mm recorded on June 15-16m, 1995. Mawsynram’s previous highest 24-hour rainfall was 945.4mm on June 7, 1966. Based on the average annual rainfall it receives, Mawsynram (11,873mm) is known to be the wettest place in the world.

The flood situation in Assam turned critical on Friday with nine more people, including two kids, losing their lives, taking the toll in this year’s floods and landslides in the state to 55, a bulletin issued by Assam state disaster management authority said. The deaths were reported in Hojai, Nalbari, Bajali, Dhubri, Kamrup, Kokrajhar, and Sonitpur. Two people were reported missing in Hojai and Sonitpur. A total of 18.9 lakh people remained affected in the state, it said. 

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