Aug 21, 2019

India's Monsoon Season Has Left More Than 1,000 People Dead

Kerala
India
by
Ron Brackett
,
The Weather Channel

The monsoon season in India typically runs June to September.

Extreme downpours have caused flooding and landslides that have killed hundreds.

These extreme events may become more common with climate change, scientists say.

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Despite the devastating flooding, total rainfall this monsoon season has been just about average. Scientists say climate change may be increasing the chances of extreme weather events, like heavy downpours and droughts, The Independent reports.

“Mean rainfall is decreasing, but extreme events are becoming more intense,” Kieran Hunt, a research scientist in tropical meteorology at the University of Reading, told the newspaper.

“This is because as the climate warms, the atmosphere is able to hold more moisture,” he said.

Hunt pointed to floods in Kerala, which killed more than 450 people last year, as an example.

“The three worst floods in Kerala occurred in 1924, 2018, and 2019,” he said. “In other words, a 1-in-100 years flood has occurred two years in a row.”