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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > India sees driest August since 1901

India sees driest August since 1901

Updated on: 01 September,2023 07:13 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dipti Singh | dipti.singh@mid-day.com

And the news for the first week of September is not good either, with good rains expected only after next week

India sees driest August since 1901

Mumbai witnessed nearly record rainfall in July. Pic/Sameer Abedi

Key Highlights

  1. IMD and private meteorologists say the dry spell amidst humid weather will continue
  2. August saw the least amount of monsoon rain in 122 years (since 1901) across India
  3. August was one of the worst months for monsoon deficit

As August 2023 turned out to be the driest and warmest across the country since 1901, with just 177 mm of rainfall recorded at Mumbai’s Santacruz observatory, 
the showers failed to cover even half of the monthly seasonal quota. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) and private meteorologists say the dry spell amidst humid weather will continue until the first week of September. 


August saw the least amount of monsoon rain in 122 years (since 1901) across India. According to the IMD, August was one of the worst months for monsoon deficit with rainfall across all of central India and the South Peninsular being the lowest since 1901. The overall rainfall across India was around 191.2 mm during the month.


As of August 31, Mumbai's Santacruz observatory recorded only 177 mm of rainfall, which is just 31 per cent of its monthly average of 562 mm. The Colaba observatory recorded 112 mm—24 per cent of its monthly average of 472 mm. Santacruz normally gets 24 per cent of the overall seasonal rain in the month of August, but this year it received only 13 per cent of the seasonal total, according to private blog Vagaries of the Weather.


This August saw the least amount rain since 1901. File pic/Sameer AbediThis August saw the least amount rain since 1901. File pic/Sameer Abedi

Talking about the rainfall deficit, Rajesh Kapadia of Vagaries of the Weather said, “For the period 1901-2022, August rainfall in the country is decreasing at the rate of 0.7 mm/decade. This year, throughout the month, break monsoon conditions prevailed for nearly 24 days.

It is the month of September that holds the key to making or breaking the year. Although this month has a modest average of 167.9mm rainfall, it is considered the most volatile to change fortunes. It will be listed as one of the ‘driest’ months since 1901. There will be a deficiency of about 36 per cent of rainfall in August 2023.”

According to meteorologists, the dry spell will continue over Mumbai and adjoining areas for the entire first week of September and the jinx is likely to be broken on Janmashtami (September 7).

An IMD official said, “All the districts across the state are on green alert (light or no rain). Except for a few like Solapur, Parbhani, Latur, Nanded, Hingoli, Chandrapur and Akola, which are on yellow (moderate to light rain) alert on September 3 and September 4. Mostly this will be a dry week in the majority of the districts in the state, with minimal or no rains.”

According to Kapadia, Mumbai had a dry August after witnessing nearly record rainfall in July. “By the end of July, Mumbai’s Santacruz received 92 per cent of the seasonal rainfall. But the monsoon remains mostly in break phase for the first week of September, with only patchy rain/thundershowers expected across central Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha.” The weather will remain hot and humid across the state, with some moderate showers likely in eastern parts of Vidarbha after September 4.

He added that the monsoon revival is expected during the second week of September. “Most of the Vidarbha region is likely to receive moderate rain during this period. Marathwada and central Maharashtra can also receive light to moderate rainfall while the Konkan region including Mumbai can expect moderate rain during the same period,” he said.

Meanwhile, K S Hosalikar, the head of IMD Pune, tweeted: “Rainfall anomaly forecast by the IMD for the coming four weeks in September indicates the possibility of good revival of rain starting from the mid-first week of September to mid-September over parts of the South Peninsula and central India including Maharashtra (Marathwada), Konkan, Goa, Karnataka and the Kerala coast.”

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