January 2018 Was Driest January in India Since 1901 (Download PDF)

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The month of January was the driest in the country since record keeping began in 1901. Just 2.2mm of average rain was recorded across India till January 24. India Meteorological Department (IMD) data spanning the past 117 years reveals that so far driest January was in 2007, when 2.8 mm rain was recorded.

Image of January 2018 was Driest January in India Since 1901

Image of January 2018 Was Driest January in India Since 1901

Image of January 2018 was Driest January in India Since 1901

Importance of Rainfall in Month of January?

Winter rain and snow is important for

  • rabi crops

  • recharge of underground aquifers and Himalayan glaciers.

  • cleansing the air.

  • Rai

Mechanism of Winter Rainfall in India

  • Rain from the northeast monsoon usually ceases during the first week of January

  • Rain in northwest India in January is a result of an interaction between easterly troughs and western disturbances

Reason for Decrease in Rainfall

  • Path of western disturbances, which bring cold and wet weather into north India, has been more northerly than usual.

  • The systems, instead of moving along north Rajasthan and Punjab, swept through northern Jammu and Kashmir. As a result, they had little impact on the weather in north India.

  • Instances of interaction between easterly troughs and western disturbances were missing this year even though a good number of western disturbances passed the region.

Key Facts

  • Three of the seven driest months of January since 1901 have come since year 2000. Apart from this year and 2007, 2001 recorded just 6.5 mm of rain countrywide during the month.

  • During a western disturbance, cold wave and thick fog conditions prevail over North India, these conditions were witnessed only at the beginning of January.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 19, 2018

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