Mawsynram (pronounced maw-sin-rum) is a city in the East Khasi Hills district in northeastern India. It is known as the wettest city in the world. India has two seasons: a wet season and a dry season. During the dry season, there is very little rain. During the rainy season, the country is slammed by huge rainstorms. This seasonal change is due to monsoons, or the seasonal change in winds. From October to April, the wind blows from the northeast, and it is dry. From May to September, the wind blows from the southwest, and it brings torrential rain. This yearly change is important for agriculture all over India.
- Mawsynram received 1,000 inches of rain in 1985, which is a world record.
- In an average year, the town receives around 467 inches of rain.
- Most of this rain comes during the wet season.
- This area has a short dry season — from December to February.
- During the dry season, India may still receive 1.2 inches of rain a month.
- This huge amount of rain is due in part to the location of the city where the mountains and hills make many strong winds converge in one area.
- The dry season is difficult because it can be hard to find enough water to drink and complete daily chores.
- In 1995, five feet of rain fell in 24 hours.
- June and July are the two rainiest months and bring an average of 275 inches of rain.
- New York City gets 60 inches of rain a year.
Because rain is such a huge part of daily life, work can’t stop just because there is a storm. Instead, the residents of Mawsynram have learned to live with the weather. They have special umbrellas called knups. They look almost like shells, but they are woven from bamboo and banana leaf. Workers wear them on their heads and they curve over to cover most of the body. When people wear them they are protected by the rain and can still work using both their hands.