Nearly a three-fold increase was witnessed in incidences of very heavy rainfall across districts of Kerala since 2015, according to data maintained by the India Meteorological Department. While the coastal state experienced 43 very heavy rainfall events in 2015, the number of such extreme weather events increased to 115 in 2021, the weather office data showed. Very heavy rainfall events are categorised as days that experience rainfall between 115.6 and 204.4 mm.
Forty-three incidences of very heavy rainfall were registered in 2015, of which 19 were in June; year 2016 registered 23, of which 16 alone were in June; 2017 registered 38 such events, with September witnessing 14 incidences.
The year 2018 registered 163 such events, with August recording 74 such events, June 35 and June 34. Next year, there were 117 incidences, with 71 being registered in August and 22 in July.
In 2020, 110 events of very heavy rainfall were witnessed, 40 being recorded in August, followed by 26 in September and 20 in July. The year 2021 recorded 115 such incidences, of which 51 were recorded in May alone.
"Frequency of extreme precipitation events may increase all over India, and more prominently so over the central and southern parts in the near future as a response to enhanced warming," Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh had said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha to a question posed by Congress member Shashi Tharoor.
In Kerala, the total incidences of heavy rain (64.5-115.5 mm per day) in 2015 were 360 across 10 months, with the maximum being recorded in June (116), followed by July (61).
In 2016, a total of 225 events were registered, with the maximum in June at 108, followed by 44 in July. The year 2017 again saw incidences of heavy rain climbing to 360, with the maximum 114 in June, followed by 98 in September, and 48 in August.
In 2018, the number of heavy rainfall events increased to 607, with July recording the maximum at 198, followed by 147 in June and 144 in August. In 2019, the total number of such events was 528, with 184 being witnessed in August alone, followed by 123 in July and 101 in October, respectively.
Kerala witnessed 484 incidences of heavy rainfall in 2020, with August recording the maximum (132), followed by September (124). In 2021, there were 574 such events with the maximum being recorded in May (130), followed by October (112 days) and July 107 days.
The state witnessed extremely heavy rainfall (more than 204.4 mm per day) on one day each in 2015 and 2016, and two days in 2017. The year 2018 witnessed 32 such days, of which 25 were in August . In 2019, 33 such days were recorded with 29 being in August. The number of days when there was extremely heavy rain in 2020 was eight and in 2021, it was 11.