Gujarat has so far this year received approximately 20% more than the average normal rainfall of 680mm, an official from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Manorama Mohanty, the IMD director for Ahmedabad, said Gujarat has recorded 814.4mm cumulative rainfall this year, marking a 19.76% excess in comparison to the normal long-term average of 680mm.
The average rainfall period in Gujarat is observed between June 15 and September 30.
This year, Cyclone Biparjoy made landfall in Kutch on June 15 and over the next few days various parts of the state received rainfall due to the remnants of the cyclonic storm. Notably, the Dhanera taluka of Banaskantha has been severely impacted, resulting in several villages experiencing flood-like conditions. While Saurashtra and Kutch have seen substantial rainfall, other regions have received relatively minimal precipitation in the aftermath of Biparjoy.
Overall, this year the Saurashtra-Kutch region has witnessed an exceptional rainfall surplus, receiving more than 150% of its anticipated rainfall, which equates to over 50% excess, according to Mohanty. On the other hand, the rest of Gujarat has shown a slight deficiency of about 1%, she said.
These rainfall patterns hold significant implications for the agricultural sector, as crops require consistent and timely rainfall. Gujarat saw a shortfall in precipitation in the month of August, receiving only 10% of the expected rainfall. This raises concerns about the overall outlook for the entire month.
However, considering the broader perspective of the last decade, Gujarat has generally received a satisfactory amount of rainfall, with only a few years experiencing normal or deficient rains, according to Mohanty.
Ahmedabad received 71.71% of its expected rainfall while Surat recorded 86.04% of its anticipated rainfall. Vadodara has seen 77.93% of its normal rainfall. Rajkot received 120.82% of the expected rainfall, indicating an above-average monsoon. East Central Gujarat has received 96.11% of its average rainfall, contributing positively to the region’s water resources. North Gujarat received 95.52% of its normal rainfall, while South Gujarat received 88.31% of its average monsoon rainfall.
Between September 16 and September 18, Gujarat received heavy rainfall with more than 12,000 people living in low-lying areas in five districts being evacuated and shifted to shelter homes. As many as 126 talukas of the state received more than two inches of rainfall in this period.
Over 6,000 people living along the banks of the Narmada River in Bharuch district have been shifted to safer places after the water level rose to 40 feet due to discharge from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Several areas in Bharuch city and tehsil, and many localities and villages in Ankleshwar, are still under knee-deep water even though the water level was decreasing slowly since Monday morning.
On Sunday, the water level of the Narmada River surged to 40 feet, surpassing the danger mark of 28 feet by nearly 12 feet, at the Golden Bridge connecting Ankleshwar to Bharuch. This rise was a result of the controlled release of water from the upstream Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Consequently, numerous people were displaced in downstream areas spanning Gujarat and Barwani district in Madhya Pradesh, officials said. However, the situation has since improved, with water levels receding and the state experiencing light to moderate rainfall on September 19 and September 20.