Rainfall pattern changing in India

Uttarakhand receives more rainfall in June than before

By Jyotsna Singh
Last Updated: Thursday 17 September 2015

Trend in monsoon rainfall from 1961 to 2004

Trend in monsoon rainfall from 1961 to 2004

Weather prediction and disaster response have become issues fuelling the blame game between state officials in Uttarakhand. An analysis of rainfall data for the past five years, available on the website of the India Meteorological Department, points to changes in rainfall trends in India, with a greater number of incidents of excess rain in Uttarakhand in June. The trends in rainfall do not indicate the kind of disastrous rainfall the state received this year, but it does point to the necessity for a robust disaster management programme, which as of now does not exist in the state.

The areas of Uttarakhand affected by the recent floods, particularly Uttarkashi, have experienced excess rains in June for the past several years. Last year, there was a rainfall deficit in the same month across the state. But data for the preceding five years indicates a trend towards excess rainfall in June.

In 2011, Uttarkashi received 146 per cent excess rainfall compared to the long period average (LPA). The corresponding figures for 2010, 2009 and 2008 are 26 per cent, 31 per cent and 98 per cent. Chamoli received 57 per cent excess rainfall in June in 2011, 18 per cent in 2010 and 59 per cent in 2008. Rudraprayag also received a deficit rainfall in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, but the year 2011 witnessed excess rainfall of 70 per cent.

District-wise rainfall trends in Uttarakhand from 2008 to 2012







% departure from LPA#


% departure from LPA#


% departure from LPA#











































#Long Period Average

India receives more rain in May and June

Monsoon trends from 1961 to 2004 analysed by scientists show that the amount of rainfall received has increased in the months of May and June across India. In northwest India where Uttarakhand lies, this amount has increased by 22.4 per cent. The data also shows a decrease in rainfall in July and August. The northwest region receives 6.7 per cent less rain than before in these two months.

“June has more rainfall than before, while for July it is reducing. This change has to be acknowledged and the impacts should be studied,” says J Srinivasan, professor, Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.  


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  • Very well researched

    Very well researched article.
    What preventive measures to tackle excess rainfall and floods taken by the Government especially in the Uttarakhand region is anybody's guess.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

    Posted by: Anonymous | 7 years ago | Reply
  • "Rainfall pattern changing in

    "Rainfall pattern changing in India", I am sorry it is a poor research study. I told the same when the minister for Science & Technology briefed the parliament saying rainfall is decreasing. He has chosen the decreasing phase of the 60-year cycle and the present study used increasing phase of the cycle. Indian rainfall for all the subdivisions are available since 1871 to 2004. See my book "Climate Change: Myths & Realities [Annexture-I: Weather Aberrations Perspective of Dry-land agriculture in Andhra Pradesh] -- www.scribd.Com or Google Books --. Indian southwest monsoon rainfall presents a 60-year cycle. We have completed two cycles and the third cycle started in the year 1987 [the starting year of new cycle of Indian Astrological 60 year cycle]. The first 30 years represent good monsoon rainfall years [more flood years and less drought years] and this will be ending by 2016. This is followed by poor rainfall 30 year part in which more years of drought and less years of floods. Thus river flooding follow this. The period 1961 to 2004 -- from bottom of low rainfall 30 year period to top of good monsoon years part. In the State of AndhraPradesh with the two monsoons, they are different from this as well they differ from annual cycle. The Bay of Bengal cyclones follow the northeast monsoon pattern. The onset of monsoon over Kerala Coast follow 52 year cycle similar to Fortaleza/Brazil rainfall.

    In weather and climate studies it is always important to look in to all the available data rather than using truncated data. WMO in 1966 presented a manual to understand climate change -- Late shri K. N. Rao, a former DDGC & consultant with Agriculture Commission was a co-author of this report.

    Regarding temperature, globally since 1998 to 2011, it followed a inverted bowl shape, which means no change but carbon dioxide reached 400 ppm. What ever extremes we observed in Indian Temperature is a natural variations associated with Western Disturbances. These extremes have not crossed the normals of 1931-60 [IMD Red Book].

    Please understand the weather and Climate of India before attempting such reports. Unfortunately, there are groups of scientists who serve the Al Gore and IPCC mis-leading the people and rulers as well media of India.

    Finally the title is misnomer.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    Posted by: Anonymous | 7 years ago | Reply
  • Conti-- About Uttarkhand see

    Conti-- About Uttarkhand see the rainfall patterns of Dehra Dun from normal book of 1931-60. July and August give copious rainfall of around 70 cms each with extremes more than the double. June also get around 20cm with extreme more than double. The tragedy here is more in association of human greed after the bifurcation of UP -- this is the fate with smaller states where the rulers forget the people and look at how to mint money. Destroyed greenery and built houses along the river and laid roads without proper science. The disaster management department of both state and centre did little on this fragile area. Same way, with increasing tourism, the tourism department did very little. and when the tragedy occurred the minister was dancing in Vijag. Recently, when foreign visitors came to India, instead putting them in tourism hotels or guest houses he lavishly put them in most expensive hotels as expect them to do the same when he along with his family goes to their countries. This is the state affair of our disaster and tourism departments in India!!! In the case of AP pilgrims/tourists the opposition and ruling party politicians fought in front of others in Dehra Dun to get political mileage shamelessly after everything is over.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    Posted by: Anonymous | 7 years ago | Reply
    • I held it more data to searched

      Posted by: Mansi Maurya | 2 years ago | Reply
  • I need more trend data research for analysis

    Posted by: Mansi | 2 years ago | Reply
  • it helped me a lot

    Posted by: Sonal | 2 years ago | Reply