NEW DELHI: India experienced its wettest month of August in 32 years, with 27% higher than normal rainfall across the country as a whole, and as much as 61% above normal rains in central India.
The month ended with 327mm of average rainfall in the country, 26.7% above the normal for the month (258mm), driving the overall monsoon rainfall in the season so far to close to the “excess” category at 9.8% above the long period average (LPA). The monsoon is said to be excess if the June to September rainfall is more than 10% higher than the LPA.
The month had the highest rainfall surplus (percentage higher than normal) for August in 44 years and the fourth highest in India Meteorological Department records going back to 1901. A higher monsoon surplus in August was last recorded in 1976, at 28.4%.
In IMD records going back 120 years, only only five previous years has August rainfall exceeded this year’s record — 1988, 1963, 1958, 1933 and 1926.
What led to the exceptionally high rainfall, particularly in central India, were a series of low-pressure systems coming inland from the Bay of Bengal. As many as five low-pressure circulations were formed during the month, as opposed to a normal of three to four.