Weather Highlights of 2015, Part I (Indian Sub Continent)

With a New Year few hours away, here is a COMK collection of Weather Highlights of 2015, Part I in which we will cover few important weather events of 2015 that requires a mention. This list is no means complete and have been prepared with a aim to just highlight the events and create a perspective rather than go through the record books and highlight rainfall records etc.

  • March 2015 saw record unseasonal rains hit most parts of Central & North India. Aided by an induced Low an incoming Western Disturbance over the first week of March dumped heavy rains over many places affecting a lot of winter crops. Maharashtra saw the worst damage with the Madhya Maharashtra region suffering huge crop losses.  A look at the rainfall numbers for the month of March show the impact with Maharashtra recording almost 7 times rainfall compared to average rainfall for the period

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  • The month of May saw record heat over the Indian Sub-Continent possibly in hindsight set the tone for 2015 becoming the warmest year on record. Places across the country cross 45 degrees day after day as for almost 3 weeks the heat wave went on unrelenting till the Southwest Monsoon started moving in over the Indian Sub Continent.  Almost 3000 people had lost their lives on account of this heat wave.

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  • June saw a subdued start by Southwest Monsoon with erratic spells being the order of the day. Not until the 3rd week did Mumbai see its first proper rain, but when it started it just poured with the June month’s average of about 50 cms being recorded in less than 72 hours’ time.  In this spell Santacruz recorded 28 cms in a day which was the highest 24 hour rainfall recorded after the historical 2005 July rains when almost 95 cms was recorded. In the end June 2015 ended up almost twice the normal average which possibly went a long way in compensating for pretty much poor Monsoon that followed for the subsequent 3 months. In a strange connect between Mumbai & Chennai after 2005 Chennai once again saw historic rains in 2015.

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  • July saw historic temperatures over Chennai with 6 straight days of in excess of 40°C temperature recorded in Chennai during the first fortnight of July.   In the end Chennai missed out on breaking a 100 year old temperature record by 0.1 °C on 9th July coming close to breaking a record set on 4th July 1915. In the last 10 years only May 2008 saw 6 straight 40°C + days.

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  • During the month of July we had a cyclone in Bay of Bengal for the first time in 25 Years. Cyclone Komen formed on 30th July with the previous cyclone Bay had seen during the month of July being in the year 1989. During peak monsoon season it is very rare for cyclones to evolve due to all energy getting diverted to the Monsoon Low over the Peninsular India and the very high vertical wind shear that exists during peak monsoon period.  Cyclone Komen finally made landfall over Bangladesh providing heavy rains to most parts of East India & Bangladesh.

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  • While Chennai Rains got all the publicity the Cuddalore floods of Diwali 2015 were almost forgotten. On Diwali Eve in what was then the heaviest spell of rains of Northeast Monsoon 2015 (subsequently broken on Dec. 1 when Tambaram received 49 cms rains) most of Cuddalore district went under water. Under the influence of the Deep Depression which made landfall near Pondicherry Neyveli received 45 cms in 24 hours for the day ending 8:30 AM on 10th  Entire Cuddalore district faced floods with the Gedilam River overflowing all along.  The district is still to completely recover from this impact with rains continuing till first week of December
  • So much has been talked about the December 1st Chennai Rains so we will restrict ourselves to just mentioning it. This event has now possibly created a new Chennai, a Namakku Naame Chennai which proved the citizens of Chennai are second to none when going out of the way to help neighbours, strangers and you name any one who went through hell during this historic spell of rains. This event has also created a new awareness about the importance of the Lost Water bodies of Chennai, let’s hope this activism for the water bodies of Chennai ensure there is no repeat of the Chennai Floods

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Watch out of the International Highlights in our post tomorrow. Do share your feedback on how did you find this post of ours.