Heavy Rainfall at Cherrapunjee

Scientific recording of rainfall at Cherrapunjee was begun by the British after the Khasi Hills was annexed to the British Empire in the 1830s. After India attained Independence from the British rule, the job was taken over by the India Meteorological Department. Earlier rainfall readings were being taken by the Post Office at Cherrapunjee.

Rev. Fr.Christopher Becker SDS (Germany) has this to say about Cherrapunjee in his book on the Catholic Missions in North East India (1890–1915): “Not without reason has Cherrapunjee achieved fame as being the place with the heaviest rainfall on earth. One must experience it to have an idea of the immense quantity of rain which comes down from the skies, at times day and night without a stop. It is enough to go a few steps from the house to be drenched from head to foot. An umbrella serves no purpose. The heaviest rainfall occurs from May to October. For several years there has been an official hydrometer at the Catholic Mission. The missionary sent the report of the measurement of rainfall to the government once a month, to be published in the official gazette. The rainfall at home is about sixty centimetres per year, but the average rainfall at Cherrapunjee during the last thirty years has been nearly twelve metres (488” – i.e. 12512 mm). There were several years when the rainfall was more than fifteen metres. You can well imagine what a large sea there would be if this amount of water were stored up!”

The Observatory of India Meteorological Department was set up at Cherrapunjee in 1978. Few years back they have set up a Doplar Radar at the Observatory. The Department has plans to enlarge the scope of its operations at their Cherrapunjee Observatory with more research personnel.

The heavy rainfall at Cherrapunjee does not make much sense to the average person unless the same is viewed against the rainfall at places around the world. Then the deluge at Cherrapunjee comes into perspective.

Please peruse the Average Annual Rainfall around the world and compare.

Cherrapunjee’s Rainfall (48 Year Average: 1973 – 2020): 11621.0 mm

Region Place Rain in mm
IndiaShillong (Meghalaya)2193.8
IndiaGuwahati (Assam)1676.4
IndiaKolkata (Calcutta)1600.8
IndiaNew Delhi706.4
IndiaMumbai (Bombay)2397.3
IndiaChennai (Madras)1276
AsiaDhaka, Bangladesh1997.3
AsiaSylhet, Bangladesh4401.6
AsiaBangkok, Thailand1466.9
AsiaKuala Lumpur, Malayasia2393.6
AsiaHong Kong2216
AsiaBeijing, China635.3
AsiaSeoul, South Korea1364.8
AsiaTokyo, Japan1523.1
AsiaIslamabad, Pakistan965.1
AsiaKabul, Afghanistan289.3
AsiaTehran, Iran240.7
AsiaBaghdad, Iraq154.8
AsiaRiyadh, Saudi Arabia112.7
AfricaAlexandria, Egypt197.4
AfricaAlgiers, Algeria659.9
AfricaCairo, Egypt24.8
AfricaLagos, Nigeria1740.7
AfricaCape Town, South Africa612.5
AmericaMount Weialeale, Hawaii9495.0
AmericaWashington D.C., USA1108.1
AmericaNew York, USA1128.9
AmericaLos Angeles, USA323.1
AmericaOakland, California, USA607.5
AmericaToronto, Canada817.5
AmericaCook Inlet, Alaska, USA481.1
AmericaMexico City, Mexico634.3
AmericaRio de Janerio, Brazil1101.1
AmericaBuenos Aires, Argentina1005.2
AmericaLima-Callao, Peru19.7
EuropeLondon, UK615
EuropeParis, France627
EuropeMadrid, Spain438.9
EuropeManchester, UK899.6
EuropeFrankfurt, Germany640.6
EuropeBerlin-Dahlem, Germany588.7
EuropeMoskva (Moscow), Russia600.6
EuropeCopenhagen, Denmark589.7
EuropeStockholm, Sweden502.8
EuropeIstanbul, Turkey697.2
AustraliaCape Nelson785.2
AustraliaAuckland, New Zealand1,160.00

(Source: www.worldclimate.com)