New maximum rainfall records were set last week in central Myanmar as a result of a low pressure system in the Bay of Bengal, an official from the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology said.
According to a department weather report issued on September 5, Pakokku in Magwe Region and Yamethin in Mandalay Region recorded new rainfall records of 5.35 inches (135 millimetres) and 4.45 inches (113mm) respectively in the 24 hours to 9:30am on September 5.
The previous record at Pakokku was the 5.08 inches (129mm) measured in 1998, while the previous maximum at Yamethin was recorded in 1974, when 4.17 inches (106mm) fell in one 24-hour period.
A DMH official said a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal that formed on September 4 had caused heavy rainfall in central Myanmar and Rakhine State.
“There was heavy rain in central areas of the country, as well as Kachin and Rakhine states, because of a low pressure area in the bay and the impact of the withdrawal of the monsoon. The low pressure area is not expected to intensify into a depression but will generate more rainfall in central areas. People should be wary of the risk of flash flooding and effects on transportation services because of heavy rain,” he said.
But Pakokku residents said the heavy rainfall was welcome following a long dry spell and there had been no serious negative impact.
“There was no serious flooding in Pakokku. We got heavy rain for two days. It is only the third time we have had rain during the whole monsoon season and it brought some relief from heat,” said U Aung Kyaw Moe from Pakokku.
“We need to grow corn, sesame and pea with rainwater so the rain is lucky for the farmers,” said Dr Thet Lwin, another resident of Pakokku.
Meanwhile, the department reported that mid-monsoon rainfall in Kachin, Rakhine, Kayin and Mon states and Ayeyarwady, Bago, Yangon and Tanintharyi regions was above average, while all other states and regions received below-average rainfall.
The report said Kayin and Rakhine states and Tanintharyi region received about 20 inches (508mm) above average, while Ayeyarwady and Yangon regions received 15 inches (381mm) more than the average during the mid-monsoon period, which runs from July 1 to the end of August.