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Latitudinal variation in summer monsoon rainfall over Western Ghat of India and its association with global sea surface temperatures

, , P.K. Murumkar, S.A. Ahmed
Published: 1 February 2018

Abstract: The Western Ghats (WG) of India are basically north-south oriented mountains having narrow zonal width with a steep rising western face. The summer monsoon winds during June to September passing over the Arabian Sea are obstructed by the WG and thus orographically uplift to produce moderate-to-heavy precipitation over the region. However, it is seen that characteristic features of rainfall distribution during the season vary from north to south. Also its correlation with all-India summer monsoon rainfall increases from south to north. In the present study, an attempt is also made to examine long-term as well as short-term trends and variability in summer monsoon rainfall over different subdivisions of WG using monthly rainfall data for the period 1871-2014. Konkan & Goa and Coastal Karnataka show increase in rainfall from 1871 to 2014 in all individual summer monsoon months. Short-term trend analysis based on 31-year sliding window indicates that the trends are not monotonous, but has epochal behavior. In recent epoch, magnitudes of negative trends are consistently decreasing and have changed its sign to positive during 1985-2014. It has been observed that Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) plays a dominant positive role in rainfall over entire WG in all summer monsoon months, whereas role of Nino regions are asymmetric over WG rainfall. Indian summer monsoon is known for its negative relationship with Nino SST. Negative correlations are also seen for WG rainfall with Nino regions but only during onset and withdrawal phase. During peak monsoon months July and August subdivisions of WG mostly show positive correlation with Nino SST.
Keywords: El Nino / IOD / Sea surface temperature / Summer monsoon / Western Ghats

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