Climate and Dynamics
Diurnal-scale signatures of monsoon rainfall over the Indian region from TRMM satellite observations
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 115, Issue D2, 27 January 2010
How to Cite
2010), Diurnal-scale signatures of monsoon rainfall over the Indian region from TRMM satellite observations, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D02103, doi:10.1029/2009JD012644., , and (
- Issue published online: 20 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 SEP 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 10 SEP 2009
- Manuscript Received: 11 JUN 2009
- diurnal cycle;
 One of the most important modes of summer season precipitation variability over the Indian region, the diurnal cycle, is studied using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3-hourly, 0.25° × 0.25° 3B42 rainfall product for nine years (1999–2007). Most previous studies have provided an analysis of a single year or a few years of satellite- or station-based rainfall data. Our study aims to systematically analyze the statistical characteristics of the diurnal-scale signature of rainfall over the Indian and surrounding regions. Using harmonic analysis, we extract the signal corresponding to diurnal and subdiurnal variability. Subsequently, the 3-hourly time period or the octet of rainfall peak for this filtered signal, referred to as the “peak octet,” is estimated, with care taken to eliminate spurious peaks arising out of Gibbs oscillations. Our analysis suggests that over the Bay of Bengal, there are three distinct modes of the peak octet of diurnal rainfall corresponding to 1130, 1430, and 1730 Indian standard time (IST), from the north central to south bay. This finding could be seen to be consistent with southward propagation of the diurnal rainfall pattern reported by earlier studies. Over the Arabian Sea, there is a spatially coherent pattern in the mode of the peak octet (1430 IST), in a region where it rains for more than 30% of the time. In the equatorial Indian Ocean, while most of the western part shows a late night/early morning peak, the eastern part does not show a spatially coherent pattern in the mode of the peak octet owing to the occurrence of a dual maxima (early morning and early/late afternoon). The Himalayan foothills were found to have a mode of peak octet corresponding to 0230 IST, whereas over the Burmese mountains and the Western Ghats (west coast of India) the rainfall peaks during late afternoon/early evening (1430–1730 IST). This implies that the phase of the diurnal cycle over inland orography (e.g., Himalayas) is significantly different from coastal orography (e.g., Western Ghats). We also find that over the Gangetic plains, the peak octet is around 1430 IST, a few hours earlier compared to the typical early evening maxima over land.