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Keywords:

  • extreme events;
  • precipitation;
  • India;
  • monsoon

Abstract

Station level hourly precipitation data from 1980 to 2002 spread across the Indian subcontinent were analysed for trends in extreme hourly precipitation events. The analyses were conducted for the main seasons of winter, dry-summer, and wet-summer monsoon seasons, respectively. The results of the study indicated rising trends in extreme heavy precipitation events, mostly in the high-elevation regions of the northwestern Himalaya as well as along the foothills of the Himalaya extending south into the Indo-Gangetic basin. In general, the lowest positive trends to slightly neutral to negative trends in extreme precipitation events were observed during the winter season, while stronger positive trends were found for both dry-summer and wet-summer monsoon seasons. Along the west coast, the southern part experienced a declining trend, whereas the northern section of the coast experienced an increasing trend of extreme precipitation events. Most of Deccan Plateau extending towards south central coastal regions of the subcontinent also experienced a positive trend in the occurrence of extreme heavy precipitation events. Furthermore, the trends affecting large, million-plus-population urban agglomerations were examined separately, and these trends were found to be pre-dominantly positive during dry-summer and wet-summer monsoon seasons, but showed neutral to negative trends during the winter season. Copyright © 2008 Royal Meteorological Society