May records second highest rainfall in 121 years, no significant heat wave magic: IMD says

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its monthly report on Thursday that May received the second highest rainfall in 121 years.

The meteorological office attributed the record rainfall to two consecutive cyclones and a western disturbance. The IMD said that 34.18 degrees Celsius, the average maximum temperature in India this May, was the fourth lowest temperature since 1901.

The lowest temperature ever recorded for May was 32.68 degrees Celsius in 1917. The IMD said the temperature was the lowest since 1977 when it was 33.84 degrees Celsius.

The IMD added that no special heat wave magic was observed in any part of India during the month.

Rainfall across the country in May 2021 showed that it recorded 107.9 millimetres, which is 74% higher than the 62 millimetres long average (LPA).

“India received the second highest rainfall in May since 1901. The IMD said in its May monthly report that the heaviest rainfall so far was in 1990 (110.7 mm).

May each cyclone could form in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

Tauktae formed across the Arabian Sea and evolved into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’. It hit the coast of Gujarat on May 17 after battering states along the western coast.

Hurricane ‘Yaas’ formed in the Bay of Bengal and took the form of a ‘severe cyclonic storm’.

It attacked the coast of Odisha on May 26 and affected West Bengal.

Both systems rained not only on the western and eastern coasts states but also in other parts of the country. For example, as the Cyclone ‘Tauktae’ weakened, it moved towards northern India and it rained in many parts of northern India.

Similarly, ‘Yaas’ brought rains to eastern India, including Jharkhand and Bihar, as it weakened.

In the three summer months of 2021, the frequency of Western disturbance activity in northern India is higher than normal, the IMD said.

The IMD added that in March, April and May 2021, it was seven, nine and eight, respectively, compared to the usual 4-6 WD.

Western troubles are hurricanes that start in the Mediterranean, cross Central Asia and hit northern India. They are very critical for northwestern India as they are a major source of snow and rainfall during the winters.

Like March and April 2021, heat wave conditions in May 2021 were occasional and even short-lived in a very small region.

“Except for the whole of western Rajasthan, no significant heat wave was observed across the country where it lasted for two days on May 29 and 30,” the IMD said.

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