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Observed changes in southwest monsoon rainfall over India during 19012011

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Thursday, 8 January 2015
Madhavan Rajeevan, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi, India; and P. Guhathakurta

Observed changes in southwest monsoon rainfall over India during 19012011

Pulak Guhathakurta and M Rajeevan

1. India Meteorological Department, Pune, India 2. Earth System Science Organization, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi. (mn.rajeevan@nic.in)

ABSTRACT

The trends and epochal variability of southwest monsoon over the country as a whole and four homogeneous regions are examined using monthly rainfall data (19012011) of 640 political districts of India. The district rainfall data is computed from station rainfall data. The same station data is used to analyse the trends in the frequency of rainfall events of different intensities for examining extreme rainfall events. The existence of the multi-decadal epochal variability of rainfall is clearly established in the all-India monsoon rainfall as well as monsoon rainfall over the four homogenous regions. However, over different homogenous regions, the phases of multi-decadal variability are found to be different. Principal component analysis brings out Northeast India (NEI) rainfall as more dominant mode for all-India rainfall. Significant decrease in southwest monsoon rainfall over NEI is observed during the post 1950 period. Decreasing trends are also observed over the monsoon core region during the post-1950 period. Over these regions, monsoon rainfall has increased significantly during the pre-1950 period. It has been shown that the decreasing trend in monsoon rainfall during the post 1950 period is the result of multi-decadal epochal variability. Geographical regions that experienced significant changes in the frequency of days of rainfall with different intensities are also identified. Significant change/turning points are also detected in the southwest monsoon rainfall. Frequency of moderate rainfall events (5mm