Covariability; factor analysis; regionalisation.
Geographical regions of covariability in precipitation over the Kerala state are exposed using factor analysis. The results suggest that Kerala can be divided into three unique rainfall regions, each region having a similar covariance structure of annual rainfall. Stations north of 10°N (north Kerala) fall into one group and they receive more rainfall than stations south of 10°N (south Kerala). Group I stations receive more than 65% of the annual rainfall during the south-west monsoon period, whereas stations falling in Group II receive 25-30% of annual rainfall during the pre-monsoon and the north-east monsoon periods. The meteorology of Kerala is profoundly influenced by its orographical features, however it is difficult to make out a direct relationship between elevation and rainfall. Local features of the state as reflected in the rainfall distribution are also clearly brought out by the study.