Meghalaya's Mawsynram breaks Cherrapunji's record as wettest place on earth

The town in north east India received its highest ever rainfall since 1966 on Friday

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Published: Sat 18 Jun 2022, 9:26 PM

As incessant rains continued to pound the northeast, Meghalaya’s Mawsynram, the wettest place in India, gauged an enormous 1003.6 mm of precipitation in 24 hours ending 8:30 am on Friday, the highest ever on a day in June, as neighbouring Cherrapunji received 972 mm of rainfall, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The rainfall in Cherrapunji, also one of the wettest places in the world and at an aerial distance of 10 km from Mawsynram, was the highest in June since 1995 and the third highest in 122 years.

Mawsynram had gauged 710.6 mm of rainfall in 24 hours ending 8:30 am Wednesday.

Before Friday’s record rainfall, it had received 944.7 mm of rains on June 7, 1966, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed.

“Mawsynram is at present the wettest place in India, with an average annual rainfall of 11802.4 mm (average of the 1974-2022 period). Cherrapunji receives 11359.4 mm of rainfall in a year (average of the 1971-2020 period),” Sunit Das, Scientist E at IMD’s regional centre in Guwahati, 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 in 1901.

Till Friday, Cherrapunji has received a total of 4081.3 mm rainfall this month.

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

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

The hill station reported 973.8 mm of precipitation on June 5, 1956.

“It doesn’t always rain like this. 50-60 cm is normal 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, Das said.

The IMD has issued a red alert, warning of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in Meghalaya and Assam in the next two days.

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