Monsoon · Rainfall

June 2022: District wise rainfall in India’s SW Monsoon

In the just concluded month June 2022, the first month of India’s South West 2022 monsoon, India received 152.3 mm rainfall, 8% below the normal June rainfall of 165.3 mm as per India Meteorological department. In June 2021, the rainfall was 182.9 mm[i], about 11% above normal and  in June 2020, the rainfall was 196.9 mm, or about 18% above normal and in June 2019 it was 33% below normal.

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DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 13 June 2022: Down in Dumps, MoEF becomes more opaque

(Feature image: Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav with PM Narendra Modi before taking oath on July 7, 2021 PTI/HT.)

While the news that India has achieved the worst ever ranking of 180, at the bottom of 180 country index in terms of Environment Performance Index was shocking, it should not surprise too many people considering the way environment is treated by the current central government, particularly the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). As expected, MoEF questioned the methodology of the assessment, and the criticism has been responded to and rejected by the authors of the EPI report.

Now with a dictate of the MoEF (dated Apr 8, 2022, preceding the EPI news) coming to light, the trajectory of the MoEF should leave no one in doubt. Through this dictate, the MoEF has asked the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), a supposedly autonomous institute of the Ministry, to seek the ministry’s approval before it publishes any document, that too with retrospective effect! WII in any case, was towing the ministry’s line in many of the cases as is evident from its performance in regulatory committees like the Forest Advisory Committee, National Board of Wild Life and Expert Appraisal Committee (on River Valley Projects, possibly among others). And yet the Ministry has come out with this dictate, without giving any reasons, possibly since some of WII reports have been problematic for the govt in judicial proceedings in some cases. But the MoEF move to stop WII from publishing (and hence doing) any credible studies only shows the paranoia of the ministry. Its performance index would not improve this way, it would only get worse.

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Rainfall

Pre Monsoon 2022: District wise rainfall in India

In the just concluded three month pre monsoon season (March 1 to May 31, 2022) India received 130.6 mm rainfall, 1% below the normal rainfall of 131.7 mm as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD). In 2020[i]  and 2021[ii] India received 158.5 mm  and 155.2 mm or 20% and 18% above normal rainfall respectively. So this year, India has received much lower pre monsoon season rainfall compared to previous two years.

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Rainfall

Normal Rains Forecast for India’s SW Monsoon 2022

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has in their first forecast for India’s crucial South West Monsoon (June-Sept) 2022 has forecast[i] that India will receive 99% of Long Period Average (LPA) rain with a model error of +/- 5%. This means that IMD has forecast on April 14, 2022 that India is likely to get normal rainfall (96% to 104% of LPA) rains for the fourth consecutive year. IMD says that currently La Nina conditions are prevailing and are likely to continue during the monsoon.

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Rainfall

District wise Winter 2022 Rainfall in India

In the just concluded Winter Season 2022 (Jan 1 2022 to Feb 28 2022), as per India Meteorological Department (IMD), India received 44% above Normal Rainfall (it was 32% below normal rainfall in winter 2021[i]. This is coming on top of almost normal (99.32% of normal rainfall) in SW Monsoon 2021[ii] and 43.54% above normal rainfall in Post Monsoon season 2021[iii].

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Rainfall

Post Monsoon 2021: District wise Rainfall in India

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), during the just concluded Post Monsoon Rainfall for 2021, that included rainfall during Oct-Dec months, India received 177.7 mm rainfall, 43.54% above normal rainfall of 123.8 mm. In the same period last year, India received 124.6 mm rainfall, 0.64% above the normal rainfall. As per IMD[i] definition, the rainfall was in surplus category.

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Monsoon · Rainfall

High Rainfall days in India’s districts in SW Monsoon 2021

An analysis of the daily district wise rainfall data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) for India’s South West Monsoon 2021 shows that there were 2079 instances when a district rainfall of a day was above 50 mm. Such high rainfall instances included 1712 instances when rainfall was 50-100 mm, 288 instances when it was 100-150 mm, 53 times it was 150-200 mm and 26 times above 200 mm. Out of 694 districts of India, 527 districts or, about 76% of the districts experienced such high rainfall days during SW monsoon 2021.

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Monsoon · Rainfall

Heavy Rainfall in India in Oct-Nov 2021

India has seen rather heavy rainfall in October and November 2021, with October All India Rainfall being 33% above normal and November rainfall being record breaking 86% above normal. The combined Oct + Nov Rainfall was 48% above normal, and by Dec 7, as we write this, it is already 53% above normal for the period from Oct 1 to Dec 7, 2021.

While lingering South West Monsoon brought large part of the excess rainfall in first half of October, the unusually active North East Monsoon with continuous supply of moisture from Bay of Bengal has been the main reason for the high rainfall since late October. The onset of La Nina has also contributed to this and with La Nina forecast to remain in place till March 2022, we are in for continued wet spell in South India, it seems. IMD has already forecast above normal rainfall in South Karnataka during Dec 2021 to Feb 2022.

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Dam Disaster

Andhra Pradesh: Dam Induced Flood Disaster in November 2021

Feature image:- Damaged Annamayya dam on Cheyyeru river in Kadapa (Source:NaveenReddy@navin_ankampali)

After Pulichintala dam gate disaster[i] of August 05, 2021, the state of Andhra Pradesh has witnessed another dam induced flood disaster in 2021. This started with, part of Annamayya dam in Pennar (also called Penna) river basin[ii] getting washed away resulting in widespread destruction in downstream areas on November 19.

Around same time, there were more incidents of damages to dams and dam induced flooding in Kadapa, Chittoor, Anantapur districts of Rayalaseema and adjoining Nellore district. Firstly, the collapse of Pincha project ring bund contributed to Annamayya flood disaster. Then, one of metal bund of Mylavaram project was washed away.

Fourthly, the sudden releases from Veligallu and Buggavanka dams in Kadapa and Kalyani dam in Tirupati resulted in flash flood destruction in downstream areas. Apart from this, the leakages in Rayalacheruvu tank bund in Chittoor district could have turned into a big disaster.

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Cloud Burst

Monsoon 2021: Cloud bursts in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh

(Feature image:- Local people, army personnel carrying rescue work at Honzar, Kishtwar after davastating cloud burst on July 28. Image source: Social Media)

The increasing incidents of cloud bursts in Himalayan states have been proving significant disaster for lives and livelihoods of native people, rivers and environment of the states. Since 2018, SANDRP has been compiling reports on these extreme weather events to analysis the frequencies and impacts. After documenting cloud bursts reports in pre[i] and during[ii] monsoon season in Uttarakhand and in Himachal Pradesh[iii], this is fourth and last report of this series in 2021, this one from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh Union Territories (UT). We have not come across any such incidents reported in North Eastern states this year.  

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