Uttarakhand has longest monsoons this year

Dehradun: Monsoons finally said good bye to Uttarakhand, after a farewell shower on Friday. This incidentally is the longest period that the monsoons have been active in this small mountain state in living memory.Uttarakhand has longest monsoons this year

The normal period for the monsoons in Uttarakhand is from June 1 to Sept 30 but this time they were active till Oct 17. The last time they were active till October was in 1975, when they departed on Oct 12. This is after 38 years that the monsoons stayed on till October. In 1975, they became active on June 22, whereas this year, they became active on June 15.

Incidentally, being active for a longer time period also brought more rains to the state and old-timers in the state capital recalled that the rains this year were torrential and a reminder of the good old days, when they poured for days at a stretch. According to the meteorological office here it rained 1375.1 mms this monsoon season in entire Uttarakhand, as compared to the average of 1229.2 mms, an increase of about 12 per cent.

However, it was revealed that the monsoon was more active during June to September and during the month of October it had weakened considerably. Though it did rain, but taking into consideration the rainfall from Oct 1 to Oct 17, a shortfall of 46 per cent was recorded for October, when the monsoon remained active during the month in the previous years. The average rainfall for October in the state is 49.6 mms and only 26.9 mms was recorded this time.

And it was not only the longest monsoon spell for the state, but a new record was also set for the maximum rain received by the state capital in 24 hours. The last time the maximum rain recorded in the city was 88 years back, in 1925 to be more precise when 188 mms of rain was recorded, but on June 17 this year 370 mms of rain was recorded. The maximum rainfall for June was also recorded this year at 1095 mms against the previous highest for the month in June 1966.

The state capital also went a step ahead of Mumbai in recording the maximum rains. According to the weatherman, from June 1 to Sept 30, the city received 2865 mms of rain whereas Mumbai received 2365 mms of rain. It was perhaps why many of the low lying regions of the state were in constant danger of floods, as the rivers including the Ganga overflowed their banks.

Ironically, though Rudraprayag district had to bear the brunt of the June 16-17 tragedy that hit the Kedarnath valley, yet it received 12 per cent less rainfall this monsoon, while most of the districts recorded more than average. Normally Rudraprayag district receives 167.1 mms of roin during the monsoons, but this year it received just 1470.4 mms.

Taking all the districts of the state, besides Rudraprayag, Pauri also recorded 33 per cent less rainfall, whereas, Pithoragarh, Tehri and Champawat districts received average rainfall. Chamoli, Bagehswar, Uttarkashi, Haridwar and Dehra Dun districts recorded excess rainfall

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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