The Indian summer monsoon rainfall is known to have considerable spatial variability, which imposes some limitations on the all-India mean widely used at present. To prepare a spatially coherent monsoon rainfall series for the largest possible area, fourteen subdivisions covering the northwestern and central parts of India (about 55% of the total area of the country), having similar rainfall characteristics and associations with regional/global circulation parameters are merged and their area-weighted means computed, to form monthly and seasonal Homogeneous Indian Monsoon (HIM) rainfall series for the period 1871–1990. This paper includes a listing of monthly and seasonal rainfall of HIM region. HIM rainfall series has been statistically analysed to understand its characteristics, variability and teleconnections for long-range prediction.
HIM rainfall series isfound to be homogeneous, Gaussian distributed and free from persistence. The mean (R) rainfall is 757 mm (87% of annual) and standard deviation (S) 119 mm, with a Coefficient of Variation (CV) of 16%. There were 21 dry (K, -<R S) and 19 wet (Ri R + S) years during 1871–1990. There were clusters of frequent negative departures during 1899–1920 and 1965–1987 and positive departures during 1942–1961. The recent three decades show very high rainfall variability with 10 dry and 6 wet years. The decadal averages were alternatively positive and negative for three consecutive decades, viz., 1871–1900 (positive); 1901–1930 (negative); 1931–1960 (positive) and 1961–1990 (negative) respectively. Significant QBO and autocorrelation at 14th lag have been found in HIM rainfall series.
To delineate the changes in the climatic regime of the Indian summer monsoon, sliding correlation coefficients (CCs) between HIM rainfall series and (i) Bombay msl pressure, (ii) Darwin msl pressure and (iii) Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature over the period 1871–1990 have been examined. The 31-year sliding CCs showed the systematic turning points of positive and negative CCs around the years, 1900 and 1940. In the light of other corroborative evidences, these turning points seem to delineate ‘meridional’ monsoon regime during 1871–1900 and 1940–1990 and ‘zonal’ monsoon regime during 1901–1940. The monsoon signal is particularly dominant in many regional and global circulation parameters, during 1951–1990.
Using the teleconnections ofHIM series with 12 regional/global circulation parameters during the recent 36-year period 1951–86 regression models have been developed for long-range prediction. In the regression equations 3 to 4 parameters were entered, explaining upto 80% of the variance, depending upon the data period. The parameters that prominently enter the multiple regression equations are (i) Bombay msl pressure, (ii) April 500 mb Ridge at 75°E, (iii) NH temperature, (iv) Nouvelle minus Agalega msl pressure and (v) South American msl pressure. Eleven circulation parameters for the period 1951–80 were subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the PC’s were used in the regression model to estimate HIM rainfall. The multiple regression with three PCs explain 72% of variance in HIM rainfall.