Not just the wettest, but also one of the deadliest monsoons in Bengaluru

Though an unprecedented monsoon this year in Bengaluru drove away the drinking water blues, it could also be one of the deadliest when it comes to rain-related deaths. Much of the rainfall has been intense, with multiple days clocking more than 80 mm of rainfall. The intensity, coupled with crumbling civic infrastructure, has seen the year’s rain become one of the deadliest in the recent past. At least 15 people have died since May in the city, apart from the five who died in “pothole-related” incidents while travelling on the rain-battered roads.

What makes these rain even more astounding is their intensity over a short period of time. June and July — the two crucial months of the monsoon season — racked up a worrisome deficiency. Just 83 mm of rainfall or 61% shortfall in rain was seen in these two months leading to anxieties that another year of drought had set upon the city and even the State.

However, middle of August changed the fortunes of the water tables and brought upon havoc. August and September cumulatively saw 865.6 mm of rainfall, including a near-record 513.8 mm in September. October has continued the rainfall juggernaut with the city receiving 356.6 mm in the first two weeks. In essence, these three months have exceeded the “normal” yearly rainfall of 980 mm.

Earlier, rainfall in May was intense, with the pre-monsoon showers clocking around 250 mm for the month. Currently, rainfall is 66% above the “normal” rainfall seen between January and October 14.

“Since mid-August, the systems that should have been existent in June and July, have been coming one after another now. Worryingly, this year, the incidents of heavy rain spells (over 12 mm of rainfall in an hour) have increased, and this has caused floods,” said Sundar Metri, head of India Meteorological Department (IMD), Bengaluru.

In the list of wettest years since 1900, 10 of the top 20 have been witnessed in Bengaluru in the past 25 years.

While extreme weather events are symptomatic of climate change, Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) researchers have said that scientifically one could not link the intensity of rainfall of one particular year as being just out of climate change. “Climate change science does say that anomalies like extreme rainfall will increase. But, there is also natural variation of rainfall cycles which sees some years get more rainfall than other years,” said Venugopal V. from Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, IISc.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 1:21:01 pm |