A new anniversary of what is known as the highest rainfall episode in 24 hours ever recorded on planet Earth.
On January 7, 1966, the Foc-Foc region, on Reunion Island, recorded the passage of Cyclone Denise, which advanced through the north of its neighboring island Mauritius, causing strong winds gusting to around 170 km/h. The next day, January 8, the same cyclone left 1825 mm of precipitation in Fire-Fire, of which 1144 mm fell in just 12 hours.
Over the course of 48 hours, Cyclone Denise dropped heavy rainfall, reaching an accumulated of 2230 mm. three people died because of the floods. They also registered serious damage to the road network y severe damage to agricultural areas of the island.
Geographical, historical and climatic characteristics of Reunion Island
Reunion Island is a french island territory of approximately 2,500 km², located in the Indian Ocean, east of the island of Madagascar and southwest of the neighboring island of Mauritius. The island is an integral part of the Mascarene archipelago.
The Mascareñas archipelago is made up of islands of volcanic originwhose historic discovery is attributed to Portuguese navigator Diogo Fernandes Pereira, in 1507who baptized them with this name in honor of the viceroy of India Dom Pedro de Mascarenhas. Until the end of the 16th century, this archipelago was under Portuguese rule, until it was occupied by the Dutch in 1598.
Reunion Island, in particular, was “created” about 3 million years ago by an ancient volcanic complex called snow python what reaches an altitude of 3070 m at the top, the highest point of the island and also of all the islands in the Indian Ocean.
A second volcano, the Piton of the Fournaise still activeachieves an altitude of 2632 meters and is located in the southeast of the island. Is today one of the most active volcanoes in the worlddue to the frequency of its eruptions, one every nine months for the last ten years.
meeting enjoy a tropical climate, generally hot and humidcon a large internal variability from one region to another of the island, mainly due to the imposing island relief. Temperatures are higher in the coastal regions and lower at altitude, with a annual average of about 24 ºC.
The east coast, benefited by trade winds and a humid climate, is generally more coldbeing the rainiest region of the island with peaks reaching between 4000 and 8000 mm of precipitation per year. The west coast, protected by mountain ranges, is warmer and drier and the rainfall reaches values less than 650 mm per year.
Between the months of January and March, the island is usually affected by the passage of tropical cyclones. The main population of the island, the city of Saint-Denis, located in the far north, which receives an average of 650 mm of accumulated precipitation per year.
World rainfall records
Reunion Island has some of the heaviest rainfall on earth. Apart from the monsoon season in India, nowhere else on the planet experiences more intense rainfall than this small French island in the Indian Ocean.
In addition to holding the 12- and 24-hour records, the island also holds the rainfall records. 72 hours (three days) and 96 hours (four days)and until recently also held the 48-hour rainfall record, which now belongs to Cherrapunji, India, according to the World Meteorological Organization (OMM).
Despite the fact that the island holds all these records, the Mawsynram region (India) can be considered the rainiest on planet Earthwhere the accumulated precipitation in the year reaches, on average, 11872 mm.
But there are more amazing precipitation records on a global scale:
- Highest precipitation in 1 minute: 31,2 mmin Unionville, Frederick County (Maryland, United States of America), on July 4, 1956.
- Highest precipitation in 60 minutes: 305 mmin Holt (Missouri, United States of America), on June 22, 1947.
- Highest precipitation in 12 hours: 1.144 mmin Foc-Foc (Reunion Island), on January 8, 1966.
- Highest rainfall in 24 hours: 1.825 mm ; Foc-Foc (Reunion Island), between January 7 and 8, 1966.
- Maximum precipitation in 48 hours: 2.493 mmin Cherrapunji (India), between June 15 and 16, 1995.
- Highest rainfall in 72 hours: 3.929 mmin Commerson (Reunion Island), between February 24 and 26, 2007.
- Highest precipitation in 96 hours: 4.869 mmin Commerson (Reunion Island), between February 24 and 27, 2007.
- Highest rainfall in 12 months: 26.470 mmin Cherrapunji (India), between August 1860 and July 1861.
- Highest Total Annual Average: 11.872 mmen Mawsynram (India).