At 1,091mm, Harnai in Ratnagiri got the most rain in Maharashtra this June
The annual average for Harnai is at par with the monthly average rain for June at Mawsynram in Meghalaya (2348mm), which has the highest rainfall in the world, according to the Guinness World recordsmumbai Updated: Jun 29, 2017 08:43 IST
With 1,091mm since June 1, Harnai, a village in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, has received maximum amount of rain in the state. The amount of rain is almost half the village’s annual average rain since June 1 and twice its monthly average for June.
According to the weather department, the annual average rainfall for Harnai is 2,348 mm and the mean total for June is 620mm.
Harnai is followed by Mahabaleshwar at 698 mm. The annual average for Harnai is at par with the monthly average rain for June at Mawsynram in Meghalaya (2348mm), which has the highest rainfall in the world, according to the Guinness World records and records 9,000mm plus as the annual average.
The weather bureau identified three main factors for heavy rain in Harnai. “The southwest monsoon, two weather systems – an off-shore trough (low pressure area that pulls moisture) all the way from south Gujarat to Kerala and a mid-level circulation (weather depression) north of the Konkan coast led to the heavy rain,” said Dr KJ Ramesh, director general, meteorology, India Meteorological Department (IMD). “Although the entire west coast should get excess rain, some locations like Harnai will get surplus owing to its location and current weather factors.”
- The weather bureau told HT that as heavy rain at Harnai is a regular phenomenon, the district collector’s office is well-equipped to deal with it
- “The weather bureau regularly relays information regarding weather and fishermen warnings to Mantralaya, which further sends it out to the local district collector’s office,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD
- “If the situation gets out of hand, we directly contact the collector’s office and the situation is handled on ground. Additionally, the communication network in this area is very strong to avoid untoward incidents.”
Spread across 600 hectares with a population of 7,274 residents (2011 census), Harnai is a port with a village in close proximity. The main occupation is fishing and every evening hundreds of fishing boats gather at the port to auction their catch. The fish auction is the essential trade for villagers and their catch is sent all across the Konkan coast, especially Mumbai. However, owing to heavy rainfall warnings, fishing activity is put on hold every year from June to September.
“There has been extremely heavy rain over the past eight days and the local collector’s office has asked us to not venture into the sea because of strong winds,” said N Varadkar, local fisherman. “We ensure our catch is sufficient by second-last week of May, so that we do not face problems during the monsoon.”
The weather department has predicted widespread heavy rain, which means 76-100% rain at most weather stations in the area, for the entire Konkan coast, for the rest of the week. “Coastal areas like Harnai, which were not active with regard to rainfall up till June 12 this year, have been extremely active in terms of reporting rain over the last one week. These coastal stations have a tendency to record very high amount of rain with levels above 200mm in 24 hours, which is normal for these areas,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD.
Last year on June 24, Harnai had recorded its second highest rainfall in 24 hours at 361.6mm. The all-time high 24-hour rain was recorded in 1985 at 436.5mm. Between Sunday night and Monday morning alone, Harnai recorded 134 mm. “The levels are expected to be much more over the course of the monsoon in the coming months,” said Hosalikar.
Under the weather department’s classification, 15.6mm to 64.4mm of rain is considered ‘moderate’, 64.5mm to 115.5mm is ‘heavy’, 115.6mm to 204.4mm is ‘very heavy’ and more than 204.5mm is ‘extreme’.