Friday, June 10, 2011

Monsoon Rains of Sri Lanka

The inter-monsoonal rains lashed out with no mercy yesterday morning ending hot, humid weather prevailed during last few weeks. The heavy rain poured down like a bucket of water fell down from the sky amidst of thunders and lightening. It was same today too. I was reluctant to drop my son to the school in the heavy rain. But the rain is an integral part of the life in Sri Lanka.

Rainfall of Sri Lanka is mainly influenced by its geographical location. Sri Lanka is situated in the North Indian Ocean, just southeast of the southern tip of the Indian sub continent, lies between 6 °N and 10 °N latitude and between 80 °E and 82 °E longitude. The highlands, mostly above 300 meters, occupy the south central part of Sri Lanka with numerous peaks (Pidurutalagala -2524m, Kirigalpotte - 2396m), high plateaus and basins and are surrounded by an extensive lowland area. The central part of the island is the source of the major rivers of the country, numbering over a hundred, which flow across the lowlands into the Indian Ocean. Total area of Sri Lanka is 65610 sq km. The maximum length and width of the Island is 435 km and 225 km respectively.

Sri Lanka receives a relatively high average rainfall due to its tropical and monsoonal climate. Rainfall of the Island is highly variable seasonally and spatially creating periodic shortages of water for both agricultural and domestic use.  There are four major rainy seasons in Sri Lanka;
  • North-East monsoon from December to February
  • South-West monsoon from May to September
  • First inter-monsoon from March to April
  • Second inter-monsoon from October to November.
Out of which, South-West monsoon from May to September and North-East monsoon from December to February are the major rainy seasons that bring rains to the Island.

During the South-West monsoons, the southwestern part of Sri Lanka receives a significantly high rainfall averaging around 5080mm annually. Being situated in the western part of the country, our rubber estate: Walpolakanda is badly affected by the South-Western monsoons of this year. The rain is still continuing and the production is badly affected by rains. The southwestern monsoon in this year started a little late, on 24th of May and it is still pouring down for last two weeks. We had 15 tapping days in May, but we could only tap just two days in this month. The rain is gradually reducing and we hope the weather favours us in comming weeks.

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