NASA recently published a video which was created using satellite data that demonstrates the intensity of rainfall over the states of Kerala and Karnataka. The video shows two bands of heavy rainfall in India, one spreading over the north, east and central parts of India and the second concentrating over Kerala and south-western Karnataka.
While the northern band recorded a maximum of 14 inches of rainfall in the week between 13 and 20 August 2018, Kerala received between 10 to 18 inches of rainfall. In a statement released by NASA, experts stated that weekly rainfall in this band is generally over 10 inches with embedded areas exceeding 16 inches. The maximum estimated value in this band is 18.5 inches.
A major factor that led to the Kerala floods is geography.
Several peaks in the Western Ghats that are spread across the eastern parts of Kerala are above 2,000 metres. They welcome the rain clouds coming from the west and block them from heading eastwards. According to NASA, the band of rainfall over Kerala and Karnataka appeared more intense. Aligning with the southwestern coast of India and the Western Ghats, this onshore flow was enhanced by an area of low pressure embedded within the general monsoon.
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(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)
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