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Climate Change: Kerala Sees Three-Fold Increase in Rainfall Since 2015

Earth Sciences Minister Dr Jitendra Singh told Lok Sabha that the frequency of extreme rainfall events may increase across India, especially in central and southern parts, due to increase in heat

Monsoon in Trivandrum
Monsoon in Trivandrum. Photo Credit- India Water Portal/ Flickr

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the incidence of heavy rainfall in Kerala has almost tripled since 2015.

The official data say, 43 incidents of extremely heavy rainfall were recorded in the coastal states in 2015, where the number increased to 115 in 2021. An event of heavy rain is classified as 115.6 and 204.4 mm of rainfall.

Of the 43 incidents recorded in 2015, 19 were recorded in June. In 2016, the number was 23, of which 16 incidents were reported in June alone. In 2017, 38 incidents of very heavy rains were recorded, out of which 14 are of September. In 2018, 163 incidents of very heavy rains were recorded, out of which 74 were recorded in August. The year 2019 saw 117 incidents of very heavy rains, of which 71 were recorded in August and 22 in July. In 2020, there were 110 incidents of very heavy rainfall. In 2021, 115 incidents of very heavy rain were recorded, out of which 51 incidents were recorded only in May.

Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh, in a written reply in Lok Sabha to a question by Congress member Shashi Tharoor, had said, “The frequency of extreme rainfall events may increase across India, especially in central and southern parts, due to increase in heat.”

The total incidence of heavy rain (64.5-115.5 mm per day) in Kerala in 2015 was 360 in 10 months, while in 2016, the number was 225, in 2017, 360, in 2018, 607 and in 2019, 528. were recorded. Kerala witnessed 484 heavy rainfall events in 2020, with the maximum (132) incidents recorded in August.

The year 2021 saw 574 heavy rainfall events, most of which were recorded in May (130), followed by October (112 days) and 107 days in July. The state received one day each of extremely heavy rainfall (more than 204.4 mm per day) in 2015 and 2016, compared to two days in 2017. In the year 2018, 32 incidents of excessive rain were recorded. Extreme rainfall events were recorded in the year 2019, 33 in the year 2020, eight in the year 2020 and 11 in the year 2021.

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