Mawsynram is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 65 kilometers from Shillong. It is reportedly the wettest place on Earth, with Highest Average Annual Rainfall of 11,872 millimetres (467.4 in), but that claim is disputed by Lloró, Colombia, which had an average yearly rainfall of 12,717 millimetres (500.7 in) between 1952 and 1989 and Lopez del Micay, also in Colombia, with 12892 mm between 1960 and 2012.According to the Guinness Book of World Records Mawsynram received 26,000 millimetres (1,000 in) of rainfall in 1985.
Meghalaya means ‘land of the clouds’. Most of the rain occurs during the monsoon season, between June and September.
The second rainiest place is Cherrapunji, also in Meghalaya, with an average annual rainfall of 11,430 mm (450 in) per year, which can actually suffer drought outside the monsoon season.
Just thirty years ago, Mawsynram had no paved roads, no running water and no electricity, making its six-month long monsoon an insufferable experience for its mostly impoverished residents.Landslides still occur regularly, blocking the only paved road connecting the hillside hamlets. Rainwater still seeps into the mud huts occupied by some villagers. And, while most homes now have electricity, outages are commonplace.
Three reasons can be cited for high rainfall at Mawsynram:
1. The warm moist winds of the northward-moving air from the Bay of Bengal during the monsoon, which cover an extensive area but are forced to converge into the narrower zone over the Khasi Hills, thus concentrating their moisture.
2. The alignment of the Khasi Hills (east to west) places them directly in the path of the airflow from the Bay of Bengal, producing a significant uplift (plus cooling, further condensation and thus more rain).
3. Finally, uplift over the Khasi Hills is virtually continuous in the monsoon period because the lifted air is constantly being pulled up by vigorous winds in the upper atmosphere, hence the rainfall is more or less continuous.
Primarily due to the high altitude, it seldom gets truly hot in Mawsynram. Average monthly temperatures range from around 10 degrees Celsius in January to just above 20 degrees Celsius in August. The village also experiences a brief but noticeably drier season from December through February, where monthly precipitation on average does not exceed 60 mm. The relative dearth of precipitation during the village’s low sun season is a trait shared by many areas with this climate.