Rainfall distribution

  • The average annual rainfall in India is about 125 cm, but it has great spatial variations.
  • Areas of High Rainfall : The highest rainfall occurs along the west coast, on the Western Ghats, as well as in the sub-Himalayan areas is the northeast and the hills of Meghalaya. Here the rainfall exceeds 200 cm. In some parts of Khasi and Jaintia hills, the rainfall exceeds 1,000 cm. In the Brahmaputra valley and the adjoining hills, the rainfall is less then 200 cm.
  • Areas of Medium Rainfall : Rainfall between 100-200 cm is received in the southern parts of Gujarat, east Tamil Nadu, northeastern Peninsula covering Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, eastern Madhya Pradesh, northern Ganga plain along the sub-Himalayas and the Cachar Valley and Manipur.
  • Areas of Low Rainfall : Western Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, eastern Rajasthan, Gujarat and Deccan Plateau receive rainfall between 50-100 cm.
  • Areas of Inadequate Rainfall: Parts of the Peninsula, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, Ladakh and most of western Rajasthan receive rainfall below 50 cm.

The degree to which rainfall amounts vary across an area or through time is an important characteristic of the climate of an area. This subject area in meteorology/climatology is called “rainfall variability.

  • Owing to the nature of monsoons, the annual rainfall is highly variable from year to year. Variability is high in the regions of low rainfall such as parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the leeward side of the Western Ghats.

rainfall distribution in India


variability of annual rainfall