Monsoon at its tail end, Himachal gets 20% excess rains
According to the Monsoon Report 2023 of Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) Shimla Centre, monsoon arrived in most parts of Himachal on June 24, 2023. The earliest onset of monsoon in over a decade was on June 9, 2000, and the most delayed arrival on July 5, 2010. The rain surplus was 19% in June and a record 75% in July whereas August and September were 4% and 42% rain deficit, respectively.
With south-west monsoon retreated from most parts of the state, Himachal Pradesh this season has recorded 20% surplus rains getting actual seasonal rainfall of 884.8mm against a normal of 734.4mm.
According to the Monsoon Report 2023 of Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) Shimla Centre, monsoon arrived in most parts of the state on June 24, 2023. The earliest onset of monsoon in over a decade was on June 9, 2000, and the most delayed arrival on July 5, 2010.
The actual rainfall in the months of June, July, August, and September was 120.7mm 448.9mm, 448.1mm, 246.4mm and 69.6mm respectively, said Surender Paul, director of Shimla MeT Centre.
The rain surplus was 19% in June and a record 75% in July whereas August and September were 4% and 42% rain deficit, respectively.
As on October 1, the monsoon had withdrawn from Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Solan, Sirmaur, most parts of Kangra, Mandi, and Shimla, and a few parts of Chamba district. It is likely to make a full exit from the remaining parts within the next two-three days.
During the rainy season, extremely heavy rainfall was observed in Kangra, Hamirpur, Chamba, Una, Bilaspur, Sirmaur, and Mandi districts at isolated places resulting in large number of cloudbursts, flash floods and landslides which eventually caused extensive damage to vital infrastructure, private property and human lives.
“This year was the 36th highest rainfall in the state, highest being 1,314.6mm recorded in 1922,” said Paul. In the last over two decades, the highest rainfall of 927mm was in 2018.
The state witnessed extremely heavy rainfall spells from July 8 to 12, August 11 to 14 and later on August 20-23.
Spells of rainfall were shorter in duration but of high intensity. Most of the rainfall occurred in 25 days of rainy season and 35 days were mainly dry.
The IMD report states that many records of highest rainfall were shattered in July this monsoon season.
Una received 228.5mm rainfall on July 9, smashing a 95-year record. The previous maximum precipitation in a single day was on July 22, 1927.
Pachhad in Sirmaur received 220 mm rain on July 10 against a previous record of 189.2 mm on July 26, 1973.
Rohru in Shimla got 185 mm rain on July 9, beating the previous maximum of 170 mm on July 25, 1966.
Ghamroor in Kangra district got 166 mm rain on July 9, breaking the previous maximum of 164.8 mm on July 19, 2021.
Similarly, Nadaun in Hamirpur saw 160.5 mm rainfall on the same day, beating the previous maximum precipitation of 146 mm it received on July 30, 1966.
The famous hill resort of Manali experienced 131.5 mm rainfall on July 9, as against 105.1mm on the same day in 1971.
Keylong, the administrative headquarters of tribal Lahaul-Spiti, also called a cold desert, got 83mm rainfall on July 9, surpassing the previous highest precipitation of 78 mm rain on July 28, 1951.
52 cloudbursts, 168 landslides: IMD data
As per the IMD data, a total of 52 cloudburst incidents were reported in the state this season, 45 in July alone and seven in August. Kullu was battered by a maximum of 26 incidents of cloudbursts. Besides, 168 landslides and 72 flash floods were also reported which left behind a trail of destruction.
The monetary losses to the tune of nearly ₹9,712 crore have been assessed so far. The public works department suffered a maximum loss of ₹2,949 crore while the damages to the Jal Shakti Department were pegged at ₹2,419 crore and State Electricity Board ₹1,918 crore, said DC Rana, director of SDMA.
As many as 304 people died in the natural calamities, including 114 in landslides, 19 in flash floods and 14 in cloudburst incidents.