Munnar records its lowest rainfall in August in 10 years: UPASI

August 26, 2023 08:03 pm | Updated 08:03 pm IST - IDUKKI

A view of Munnar hill station during rain season.

A view of Munnar hill station during rain season. | Photo Credit: JOMON PAMPAVALLEY

With Idukki witnessing a 63% rain deficit this year untill August 25, the Munnar hill station has recorded its lowest rainfall for August in ten years. The hill station received only 65.024 mm (2.56 inches) of rainfall between August 1 and August 25, as per the United Planters Association of South India (UPASI) tea research centre in Munnar. Last year during the same period, Munnar received 1114.298 mm(43.87 inches) of rainfall. When compared to the previous year, there is a shortage of 1049.274 mm of rainfall.

According to UPASI data for the period of August 1-25, 2021, Munnar received 387.704 mm of rainfall; in 2020 same period, it was 1151.636 mm; 1292.86 mm in 2019; 2514 mm in 2018; 799.084 mm in 2017, 440.436 mm in 2016, 379.222 mm in 2015, 772.16 mm in 2014, 920.75 mm in 2013,” said the data.

“In the 2018 flood period in August, Munnar witnessed extremely heavy rainfall. On August 14, 2018, Munnar witnessed 330.4 mm (13 inches); on August 15, 345.44 mm (13.6 Inches); on August 16, 254 mm (10 inches) rainfall. Normally, Munnar witnessed heavy and very heavy rainfall in the month of August. But this year, it has not yet experienced heavy rainfall,” said a UPASI official.

Sources from the Kannan Devan Hills Plantations (KDHP) Limited, one of the major tea plantations in Munnar, said that the low rainfall will affect tea production. “The two major tea cropping seasons are from second week of April to May and from second week of September to October. Normally, ground fertilizers are applied in the second week of August, and it would reflect the production in September’s second week,” said the source.

“Due to the absence of rainfall, the ground fertilizers have not yet been applied in the plantations. Continuing the same situation will negatively affect the tea production,” said the source.

Climatologist Gopakumar Cholayil said, “Rain and chilly weather are the major attractions of Munnar hill station during monsoon season. Due to shortage of rain, the heat index will increase, which will affect the arrival of tourists in Munnar in October and November,” he said.

“The absence of rain would affect both plantation and tourism sector in Munnar, including hill stations,” he said.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, while Idukki district receives 2,122.8 mm of rainfall till August 26 during a normal monsoon year, the district recorded only 785.4 mm of rainfall this year.

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