As the month of July 1861 came to a close on July 31 Cherrapunji, India recorded a total of 366.14" of rain during July 1861, a world record for 1 month. Cherrapunji also holds world record rainfall for a 12-month period; 1,041.78" from August 1, 1860 to July 31, 1861. To put that into perspective, the rainest major city in the United states, New Orleans, record for one year’s worth of rain is 102” in 1991 or slightly more than 25% of the record rainfall for one month in Cerrapunji. Cerrapunji sits as the base of the Himalayas at an elevation of 5000 feet. The prevailing wind from the Bay of Bengal brings an almost constant stream of tropical moisture northward and as the air is lifted over the foot hills leading from the vast plans of Bangladesh that sit below it cools, and the moisture is squeezed out in copious amounts. Cherrapunji occupies a unique geographical position in the world because of this and the rainfall that would normally cause widespread disastrous flooding is actually drained without the impacts, because of the lay of the land and the natural drainage systems that have built up over the eons. On July 31, 1861 the record books were closed on the rainiest month in recorded world history.
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