Preparing Buildings for Above-Normal Monsoon Rainfall in 2024

Preparing Buildings for Above-Normal Monsoon Rainfall in 2024

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted above-normal rainfall for the monsoon season in 2024. This brings a renewed focus on ensuring that buildings are prepared to withstand heavy rains and potential flooding. The following guide provides detailed steps and precautions for building owners, managers, and residents to safeguard their properties.

Understanding the Forecast

The weather forecast from IMD depends on a few main elements. One important element is La Nina, which is when the sea surface temperature is cooler and usually causes more rainfall. Another element is a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which also leads to more rain during the monsoon. In addition, IMD has noticed less snow than usual in the Northern Hemisphere from January to March. Normally, when there’s less snow during this period, the summer monsoon in India brings more rain. So, all these factors together suggest that India might have a strong monsoon season with plenty of rainfall.

Above-normal rainfall can lead to a range of challenges, from leaks and seepage to flooding and structural damage. Being proactive and taking preventive measures is crucial for protecting buildings and the people who live or work in them. 

Long Period Average  

The term “Long Period Average” describes the usual amount of rain a place gets over a long time, usually 30 or 50 years. This regular amount is used to check if the rain in any year is different from what’s expected, helping to spot trends such as drought or too much rain. The monsoon rains are seen at 106% of long-term average in 2024. India is likely to see above-normal monsoon with cumulative rainfall estimated at 106 per cent of long-period average of 87 cm. 

Precautions at the Building Level 

1.Flood Protection: 

  • Seal Openings: Use sandbags or water barriers to seal potential entry points for floodwater. 
  • Elevate Utilities: Place electrical appliances and utilities above potential flood levels.


  • Seal Walls and roof: Apply waterproof coatings to exterior walls and roof to prevent water seepage. 
  • Basement Protection: Install sump pumps or drainage systems to prevent basement flooding. 

3.Structural Integrity: 

  • Roof Maintenance: Inspect and repair roofs to prevent leaks. 
  • Drainage Systems: Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clean and functional to avoid water accumulation. 

Precautions at the Urban Level 

1.Urban Drainage: 

  • Clear Drains: Regularly clean stormwater drains and sewer systems to prevent blockages. 
  • Flood Channels: Construct or maintain flood channels to manage excess rainfall. 

2.Floodplain Management: 

  • Land Use Planning: Restrict construction in flood-prone areas. 
  • Flood Mapping: Update flood maps to identify high-risk areas for targeted interventions.

3.Infrastructure Resilience:

  • Green Infrastructure: Use green spaces, permeable pavements, and rain gardens to enhance water absorption and reduce runoff. 
  • Emergency Preparedness: Develop and communicate evacuation plans and emergency shelters for flood-prone areas. 

In anticipation of the above-normal monsoon rains expected in 2024, proactivity is essential for safeguarding buildings and urban infrastructure. It is critical to address structural integrity, enhance drainage systems, and implement flood defenses. Urban planners should prioritize effective land use and resilient green infrastructure to manage excess rainfall. Emergency readiness, with clear evacuation and shelter plans, will be crucial for community safety.  

Taking these proactive steps can help protect buildings from the potential damage caused by above-normal monsoon rainfall. By focusing on structural integrity, flood protection, drainage systems, and emergency preparedness, building owners and managers can safeguard their properties and ensure the safety of occupants. 


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