Mawsynram may lose wettest place tag to Koloriang

NEW DELHI, May 23: Mawsynram may lose the wettest place on earth tag to Koloriang, a small picturesque hill town bordering Tibet in the Arunachal Pradesh.
The headquarters of Kurung Kumey district and surrounded by mountains, Koloriang is perched at an altitude of 1,000 metres. It receives unusual rains throughout the year barring peak winter.
The locals are asserting Koloriang’s recognition as the wettest place on earth. It will not only make the place famous the world over but will also attract tourists.
According to the Guwahati-based regional centre of IMD, Mawsynram is at present the wettest place with an average annual rainfall of 11,802.4 mm (average of 1974-2022 period) while adjoining Sohra receives 11359.4 mm of rainfall (average of 1971-2020 period).
But former Kurung Kumey zilla parishad chairperson Sangha Tagik refused to accept these official data. He criticised the IMD for allegedly not measuring the rainfall of the district. He claimed Koloriang has surpassed the rainfall records of Mawsynram and Sohra.
Tagik urged the central government to direct the IMD regional office to install rain gauges at Koloriang at the earliest.
Heavy rainfall, often triggering landslides, are a common occurrence in Koloriang. Recently, massive landslides and rock slides, caused by torrential rains, washed away the Koloriang bridge.
Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of Meteorology, corroborated the change in rainfall pattern.
“The rainfall pattern in India is changing. We say this after analysing the data since 1901,” Mohapatra said at a workshop on weather. “Once high-rainfall zones, like Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar and Jharkhand, are now receiving less rainfall because of climate change,” he added.
He said low rainfall zones, like Saurashtra, Kutch and Rajasthan, are now receiving more rainfall.
For some time, Mawsynram and Sohra, both nearby places, altered their places as the rainiest place on earth.
“The Northeast and west regions are like dipoles in terms of rainfall. While the Northeast is a wet area, the west is a dry area. However, the rainfall pattern is now shifting towards the west,” Dr Ravichandran, Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said.
“Some shift has already taken place and both regions now are equal (in terms of rainfall). In future, the west may see more rainfall than the Northeast,” he added.
After having caused a rise in average temperatures, climate change is now causing alterations in the rainfall pattern across the country, Ravichandran said.
After analysing the rainfall data of past many decades, the IMD came to the conclusion that climate change has altered the rainfall pattern.
Mohapatra said the increasing moisture-holding capacity of the dry states, over the past few years, was considered to be the reason why they are getting more rainfall. He said a climate change-induced rise in temperature by 1°C has increased the moisture-holding capacity of the atmosphere by 7%.

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