Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall over 24 hours led to massive flooding, landslides, and damage to infrastructure in large parts of Uttarakhand, especially Kumaon region, with IMD data showing over dozen places receiving rainfall in excess of 200 mm-400 mm, and few even more than 500 mm.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, the districts that observed heavy to extremely heavy rainfall were Champawat, Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Almora, Pauri and Chamoli from 8.30 a.m. on Monday till 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday.
There were several reports where people called the rain “multiple cloudbursts”. But the IMD terms rainfall of 100 mm or above in just one hour as a cloudburst.
The previous records of 24-hour rainfall in Uttarakhand was held by Pant Nagar that received 228 mm rainfall on July 10, 1990, but was now broken by the current 403.2 mm rainfall. The observatory has records since May 25, 1962, when it was established there, IMD Dehradun data said.
Similarly, at Mukteshwar, where the observatory was established on May 1, 1897, the previous record was of 254.5 mm rainfall on September 18, 1914, was broken by the current record of 340.8 mm rains.
The excessive rainfall in the Himalayan state is a result of interaction of Western Disturbance as an upper air system in mid- and upper tropospheric levels moving east-north-eastwards and strong south-easterly winds in lower to mid-tropospheric levels over Nepal and adjoining Uttarakhand, the IMD said.
In Champawat district, the headquarter Champawat received 579 mm rainfall, while slsewhere, it ranged from 508 mm at Pancheshwar to 123 mm at Tanakpur.
In Nainital district, Nainital received 535 mm, Nainital (Jeolikot) recorded 490.0 mm rainfall, Bhimtal 402 mm, Mukteshwar 340.8 mm, Haldwani 325.4 mm, and Ram Nagar 227 mm. rainfall.
In Udham Singh Nagar district, Rudrapur received 484 mm, Pantnagar 403.2 mm, and Kashipur I – 176 mm.
In Pithoragarh district, Ganai Gangoli recorded 325 mm, Thal recorded 242.0 mm, and Pithoragarh town 212.1 mm .
In Bageshwar district, Shama recorded 308 mm, Liti 299 mm, and Dangoli 283 mm, the IMD data showed.
Almora district received relatively little less but in IMD terminology, still extremely heavy rainfall. Takula recorded 282 mm, Almora 217 mm, and Ranikhet 165 mm.
Pauri district too received extremely heavy rainfall with Lansdowne recording 238 mm, Satpuli 218 mm, Kotdwar 138.0 mm, and Srinagar 128.4 mm.
In Chamoli district, Joshimath recorded 185.6 mm rainfall, Pandukeshwar 182 mm, Karnaprayag 134.6 mm, Chamoli 101.2 mm, and Gairsain 116 mm.
In Rudraprayag district, Kedarnath recorded 154 mm, Sonprayag 134 mm, Rudraprayag 109.8 mm, and Ganganagar 101.6 mm.
In Tehri, the holy samgam place of Devprayag received 121.4 mm rains while Tehri recorded 88 mm rainfall, the IMD data showed.
The forecast for Wednesday said, very light to light rain/thundershowers are likely to occur at isolated places in Nainital, Champawat, Pauri and Pithoragarh districts while dry weather likely to prevail in remaining districts of Uttarakhand.
For October 21, 22 and 23, the IMD said, dry weather likely to prevail in all districts of Uttarakhand.