It’s coming! It’s coming!
Monsoon has begun its slow juggernaut-like crawl up India, having officially started on the 29th-30th of May in the south.
Monsoon is critical in India – it’s the time some crops are planted, to ensure they have enough water; it’s also necessary for many of the major crops for commercial and subsistence farmers alike, to ensure they get what they need. This year, it’s been predicted to be 98% of the 50-year average, thus earning the title of ‘normal’. For those of us up in Mussoorie, we’ll get the monsoon sometime between 15 June & 1 July, according to the prediction map.
It will hang around and drip on us until sometime between 15 September and 1 October. Three months of pretending to live in Seattle, but with other fun wildlife to help make it oh-so-unique for us! We’ve been having a lot of rain recently, coming up from the mountains to the southeast (from what I can tell, there’s a pocket of rain in Tibet) and a small taste of the weather to come.
Seeking dry places, wildlife will come inside, thus giving us mice (we already have one), spiders (you’ve seen ’em!), scorpions (of which some friends already had one), and such new boon companions as this: a leech. I have been informed that carrying around salt once monsoon starts becomes a required/highly suggested habit. Adam and I saw this one on our driveway. There is, conveniently, a toothpick in the photo to use as size comparison. I had thought it was an earthworm at first glance.
We did find out that – for at least two months out of the year – Mussoorie becomes a rainforest. July has about 26.06 inches (662mm) of rain, and August 26.38, with about 6 in June and 10 in September. For a couple relevant comparisons: Americans always hear how Seattle is “so wet and rainy”. They get about 38in/967mm of precipitation a year (albeit over most of the year, thus entitling them to complain). Toronto gets 32in/834mm of precipitation a year. Mussoorie gets, because of monsoon, the whopping sum of 83.74 inches annually, or 2,127mm. Yes, we have umbrellas… and salt. And silica gel to protect our electronics, heaters to dry our clothes from perpetual wet and to make sure sheets aren’t damp when you go climb into them.