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May records second highest rainfall in 121 years, IMD says

 India Today Web Desk 

New Delhi

June 11, 2021: UPDATED: June 11, 2021 09:30 IST

At 34.18 degrees Celsius, the average maximum temperature over India this May was the fourth lowest since 1901, the weather office said.


May received the second-highest rainfall in 121 years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its monthly report on Thursday.


The weather office attributed this to two back-to-back cyclones and western disturbances for the record precipitation. IMD said at 34.18 degrees Celsius, the average maximum temperature over India this May was the fourth lowest since 1901.


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


There was no significant heat wave spell observed during the month over any parts of India, IMD added.


Rainfall over the country as a whole for the month of May 2021 shows that it has recorded 107.9 millimetres which is 74 per cent more than its Long Period Average (LPA) of 62 mm.


"Rainfall over India during the month of May was second highest since 1901. The ever highest rainfall occurred in the year 1990 (110.7mm)," the IMD said in its monthly report for May.


May saw formation of a cyclone each in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.


Tauktae formed over the Arabian Sea and developed into an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm'. It hit the Gujarat coast on May 17 after battering states along the western coast.


Cyclone 'Yaas' developed over the Bay of Bengal and intensified into a 'very severe cyclonic storm'. It hit the Odisha coast on May 26 and also affected West Bengal.


These two systems brought rainfall not only over the states along the western and eastern coasts but also to other parts of the country. For instance, as Cyclone 'Tauktae' weakened, it headed towards north India and brought rains over several parts of north India.


Similarly, ‘Yaas’ brought rains over east India including Jharkhand, Bihar as it weakened.


The IMD said that in all three months of the summer of 2021, frequencies of western disturbance activities over north India were higher than normal.


In March, April and May 2021, it was seven, nine and eight respectively against normal of 4-6 WDs, the IMD added.


Western disturbances are cyclonic storms that originate in the Mediterranean, traverse across Central Asia and hit the north India. They are critical to northwest India as they are a major source of snow and rainfall during the winters.


Like in March and April 2021, heat wave conditions in May 2021 was occasional and also for shorter periods over very small region.


"No significant heat wave occurred during the month over the country except northwest Rajasthan where it was observed for two days on May 29 and 30,” the IMD said.