This year may turn out to be wettest for Bengaluru since 2017: IMD

Published on Sep 13, 2022 12:06 AM IST

With the increase in average rain over the decades, experts say there is a need to plan for the rains.

A truck drives through flood water, in Bengaluru. (Bloomberg)
A truck drives through flood water, in Bengaluru. (Bloomberg)
ByArun Dev I Edited by Shilpa Ambardar, Bengaluru

With over 1,590 mm of rain reported this year, the officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) have predicted that 2022 could be the wettest year compared to 2017.

With the incessant rainfall in September and October, 2017 was the wettest year for Bengaluru city, with 1615 mm of rain. That year. The record of 606.8 mm in 2005 was broken.

Bengaluru recorded about 131.6mm rain in a 24-hour-period ending September 5, the second highest single-day rain in September in 34 years. According to the IMD data, Bengaluru recorded its highest rain for the same month on September 12, 1988, at 177.6 mm of rain. On September 26, 2014, the city had recorded 132.6mm of rain.

“The amount of rain this year was unprecedented. In seasonal rain, which is from July onwards, the city has received heavy rains and unlike the previous year, even in summer, there was heavy rain due to some weather systems, which was as much as 450 mm. So, if it rains further in October, which we expect it will, this could be the wettest year so far,” said a senior IMD official.

“The combination of multiple weather system coupled with the low-pressure situation created in the Bay of Bengal is resulting in showers over interior Karnataka and Bengaluru region. One has to analyse its possible relation to climate change as extreme weather events are related to it,” the official added.

“Bengaluru is a growing city and has been experiencing heat island effect which further results in rain after a prolonged harsh summer or dry run,” he added.

While 2022 saw a higher annual rainfall, over the last decade, the average rain in the city has increased. As per the IMD Long Period Average (LPA) annual rainfall for Bengaluru, based on the rainfall between 1981 and 2010, is 986.1mm. Since 2010, the rainfall has mostly been more than the LPA in most years. The average rainfall between 2010 and 2021 is now 1146.62mm, 16% above the LPA. But the annual rainfall in both 2020 and 2021 went over 1,200mm.

With the increase in average rain over the decades, experts say there is a need to plan for the rains.

Urban planner V Ravichandar said, “Unless a change in stormwater drainage is brought about, the situation in the city is going to be difficult.Our growth is unplanned and rampant. We have occupied several low-lying areas in the city and these areas don’t have a stormwater drain. A re-look at the drainage system is much needed.”

Urban planning expert Ashwin Mahesh says that a fundamental change is needed in the idea of transporting rainwater through stormwater drains. He said that the design of the city stormwater drains is wrong. “Water moves faster in a cylindrical space than rectangular space. It is scientifically proven. Except for the TenderSure roads in Bengaluru, we have rectangular drainages. Apart from transporting, we should use socking pits to absorb water locally,” he said.

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