District wise Winter 2023 Rainfall in India

In the just concluded Winter Season 2023 (January 1 2023 to February 28 2023), as per India Meteorological Department (IMD), India received 45% below Normal Rainfall (it was 44% above normal rainfall in winter 2022[i] and 32% below normal rainfall in winter 2021[ii]). This is coming on top of 6.5% above normal in SW Monsoon 2022[iii] and 19% above normal rainfall in Post Monsoon season 2022[iv].

The Normal rainfall in this two-month Winter season is supposed to be quite low at 39.8 mm (this was 40.8 mm till 2022), but the actual rainfall was 21.9 mm, close to a third of the 58.7 mm received in winter 2022. Out of this the Rainfall in January 2023 was 13.5% below normal at 14.8 mm (lowest in last five years after 18.5 mm in 2019, 28.3 mm in 2020, 20.3 mm in 2021 and 39.5 mm in 2022), against the normal rainfall of 17.1 mm. In February 2023, the rainfall was 7.1 mm, against the normal rainfall of 22.7 mm, so the February rainfall was 68.3% below normal!

However, these figures are an underestimation to the extent that they do not fully include the snowfall figures. 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 assessing the possibility of avalanches. 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 needs to be as this is basic information necessary for all concerned.

FEB 2023 Rainfall Rainfall over the country as a whole for the month of February 2023 shows that it has recorded 7.2 mm, which is 68% less than its Long Period Average (LPA) 22.7 mm. Rainfall over all India (7.2 mm) was sixth lowest since 1901. Prior lowest rainfall years were 1960 (2.7mm), 1902 (4.1mm), 1918 (4.3mm), 1955 (4.4mm) and 1911 (5.5 mm). Rainfall over homogeneous region of central India was nil which is lowest since 1901.
– NW India had the highest departure from NOrmal at 76%, rainfall of 10.9 mm. East and North East India had the lowest departure from Normal at 35%, rainfall of 19.6 mm, highest among all regions. South Peninsular had the second lowest rainfall at 3.6 mm, 54% below normal.
– The February 2023 witnessed heavy rainfall events (64.5 to 115.5 mm of rainfall) over fifteen stations mainly from Tamilnadu, Puducherry & Karaikal, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam & Meghalaya. https://mausam.imd.gov.in, Monthly Climate Summary report for Feb 2023

In this report we are giving detailed state wise and district wise figures of the rainfall for the 2023 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, 1 (Ladakh) had Large Excess, 3 (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Lakshadweep) had Excess, 3 (Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Sikkim) had Normal, 7 had deficient, 17 had Large Deficient rainfall and 5 had NO RAIN. Dadra & Nagar Haveli on western coast (it was in the same situation in 2021 and 2022 too) had NO RAIN. Jammu & Kashmir had the highest rainfall (175.8 mm), at 22 % below normal rainfall of 225.5 mm. Ladakh had the highest surplus % at 88%.

SUB DIVISION WISE RAINFALL As can be seen from the IMD map below, out of 36 meteorological sub divisions of India, 2 (Gujarat region, E Rajasthan) had large excess, 1 (Lakshadweeep) had Excess, 1 (Tamil Nadu and Karaikal) had normal, 9 had deficient, 23 had Large Deficient and 3 (Jharkhand, coastal Karnataka and Konkan & Goa) had NO RAIN. E Rajasthan had the highest surplus at 110% and Gujarat Region had surplus 102% rainfall.  

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. These figures, however, remain unreliable as in case of large number of river basins, IMD is reporting NO RAIN, which is unlikely and in contradiction with the state and region wise rainfall. It again shows callous attitude of IMD on this issue.  


NORTH ZONE: Jammu & Kashmir




Himachal Pradesh

For the seventh time in the past eight years, the hill state witnessed a deficit rainfall in February. The deficiency on six occasions, including this year (71 per cent), has been 60 per cent or more, deficit was 87% (minimum rainfall since 2016) in 2020 and 81% in 2021. “It’s a worrying trend. It could be due to less active western disturbances that cause rain in winters,” said Surender Paul, Director, Meteorological Centre, Shimla. He said the deficit rain this time would pinch more as snowfall had been sparse too. Only in 2019 did the state saw excess rainfall (91% above normal) in Feb since 2016. Even in first two weeks of March, forecast is for slim chances of rain. (https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/scanty-rain-in-february-adds-to-hps-worries-484613 March 3 2023)



EAST ZONE: Uttar Pradesh


West Bengal






Arunachal Pradesh






WEST ZONE: Gujarat


Madhya Pradesh




Andhra Pradesh


Tamil Nadu


SANDRP (ht.sandrp@gmail.com)


[i] https://sandrp.in/2022/02/28/district-wise-winter-2022-rainfall-in-india/

[ii] https://sandrp.in/2021/03/01/district-wise-winter-2021-rainfall-in-india/

[iii] https://sandrp.in/2022/10/01/sw-monsoon-2022-district-wise-rainfall-in-india/

[iv] https://sandrp.in/2023/01/01/post-monsoon-2022-district-wise-rainfall-in-india/

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