aWhere Case Study: Flooding in Odisha

aWhere Case Study: Flooding in Odisha

Weather Insights:

The 2020 India monsoon brought widespread and devastating flooding to Odisha in early September. Extensive reports of crop damage point to potential economic and food security issues for the region. Additionally, reports of large sand deposits over agricultural land will cause further delay to farmers who hoped to grow crops this year.

  • The month of August was very wet across Odisha and surrounding states. More than 400 mm of rain fell in many central and northern areas of Odisha during this 30-day period. 
  • The map below shows the precipitation difference from the long-term normal in Odisha. The southern part of the region, while still quite wet was actually a bit drier than normal during this 30 day period.

Flooding in Odisha

Odisha experienced higher than normal rainfall in late August and early September which led to flooding across the state. In most places, more than 300 mm of rain fell when less than 100 mm was expected.  The charts here illustrate the weekly rainfall totals from May – September 2020. These charts show the weekly precipitation (blue bars) compared to the long-term normal (2006-2019) (orange line) as well as maximum temperature. These charts highlight when the flooding occurred, shown by the blue bars exceeding the long-term normal. Periods that are drier than normal are circled in red, wetter than normal weeks are circled in blue.   

As these weekly rainfall charts show, much of the state experienced heavy rainfall in late August. In many of these locations, the conditions were drier than normal in the weeks leading up to the flooding. This works against agriculture as farmers invest to fit the expected environmental conditions.  Extreme events such as too much rain in a short time or too little over an extended time make the economics of farming untenable. 

Implications and Recommendations

As erratic climate events become the norm, early warning systems must be strengthened to sufficiently warn communities of impending flooding. aWhere’s daily-updated data provides the historical observed data needed to make data-driven decisions as well as the current conditions to provide relevant information to farmers and officials on how weather is impacting crop production and water supply. 

With accurate weather data, India can build resilience to weather variability and adapt to climate change. aWhere’s weather data and models help agriculture service and input providers, farmers and government agencies in India and around the world adapt to weather variability and deliver economic resilience to climate change. Other sectors impacted by climate change such as  energy, health, trade (domestic and international) and infrastructure also benefit from aWhere’s weather data and analytical tools to generate actionable insights.