In the just concluded Winter Season (Jan 1 2021 to Feb 28 2021), as per India Meteorological Department (IMD), India received 32% below Normal Rainfall. The Normal rainfall in this two-month season is supposed to be quite low at 40.8 mm, but the actual rainfall was just 27.8 mm, which means rainfall was less than 0.5 mm per day in the season. Out of this the Rainfall in January 2021 was 20.2 mm, 17% above the normal rainfall of 17.3 mm. So in February 2021, the rainfall was 7.6 mm, against the normal rainfall of 23.5 mm, so the February rainfall was 68% below normal!
However, these figures are an underestimation to the extent that they do not include the snowfall figures.
Anand Sharma, additional Director General, IMD told SANDRP that IMD is trying to strengthen the meteorological stations beyond 3500 m altitude[i] and the rainfall figures now reported by IMD including the current winter rainfall figures do not include the snowfall figures for most places. This is a major lacuna in IMD reporting rainfall figures from snowfall areas of Himalayan states. Reporting these figures on regular basis is also useful in understanding changing snowfall figures. These can also help in some cases for possibility of avalanche or such disasters. Currently SASE (Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment), now part of DGRE (Defence Geoinformatics Research Establishment) is supposed to monitoring snowfall and avalanche possibilities, but all that information, is not in public domain, though it is required for public to know.
In this report we are giving detailed state wise and district wise figures of the rainfall for the 2021 winter season as reported by IMD.
STATEWISE RAINFALL As we can see from the map below, out of 37 states and Union Territories (UTs) of India, 7 had Large Excess, 2 had Excess, 4 had Normal, 5 had deficient, 17 had Large Deficient rainfall and 2 (Diu-Daman and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, both on western coast) had NO RAIN. Goa had the highest surplus rainfall (37.3 mm), at 2389% above normal rainfall of 1.5 mm. Among the larger states, Karnataka had the highest surplus % at 604%, rainfall being 36.6 mm, against normal of 5.2 mm. The Highest quantum of rainfall was 350.3 mm in Puducherry and 216.9 mm in Lakshadweep and among larger states, Tamil Nadu had the highest rainfall at 149.8 mm. Most of East, North East and North India had scanty rainfall.
SUB DIVISION WISE RAINFALL As can be seen from the IMD map below, out of 36 meteorological sub divisions of India, 10 had large excess, 3 had Excess, 1 (Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi) had normal, 8 had deficient, 13 had Large Deficient and Saurashtra-Kutch sub division had no rainfall. It reveals that South Interior Karnataka had much higher rainfall and much higher surplus % compared to North Interior Karnataka. However, coastal Karnataka had even higher rainfall and the Highest surplus % among all the IMD sub divisions.
RIVER BASIN WISE RAINFALL As we have seen in the past, IMD also reports river basin wise rainfall as we can see in the map below. Vaipar-Pamba and Cauvery basins had, as expected, the highest rainfall at 189 mm and 129.9 mm respectively.
DISTRICT WISE RAINFALL IN DIFFERENT STATES
North Zone: Jammu & Kashmir
East Zone: Uttar Pradesh
North East Zone: Sikkim
West Zone: Gujarat
South Zone & Islands: Karnataka
Andaman and Nicobar
[i] This part was also reported in The Hindustan Times earlier in Feb 2021: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/uttarakhand-fails-to-deliver-early-warning-system-8-years-after-it-was-promised-101613565935204.html