Mumbai, the commercial and financial capital of India, experiences incessant annual rain episodes, mainly attributable to erratic rainfall pattern during monsoons and urban heat-island effect due to escalating urbanization, leading to increasing vulnerability to frequent flooding. After the infamous episode of 2005 Mumbai torrential rains when only two rain gauging stations existed, the governing civic body, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) came forward with an initiative to install 26 automatic weather stations (AWS) in June 2006 (MCGM 2007), which later increased to 60 AWS. A comprehensive statistical analysis to understand the spatio-temporal pattern of rainfall over Mumbai or any other coastal city in India has never been attempted earlier. In the current study, a thorough analysis of available rainfall data for 2006–2014 from these stations was performed; the 2013–2014 subhourly data from 26 AWS was found useful for further analyses due to their consistency and continuity. Correlogram cloud indicated no pattern of significant correlation when we considered the closest to the farthest gauging station from the base station; this impression was also supported by the semivariogram plots. Gini index values, a statistical measure of temporal non-uniformity, were found above 0.8 in visible majority showing an increasing trend in most gauging stations; this sufficiently led us to conclude that inconsistency in daily rainfall was gradually increasing with progress in monsoon. Interestingly, night rainfall was lesser compared to daytime rainfall. The pattern-less high spatio-temporal variation observed in Mumbai rainfall data signifies the futility of independently applying advanced statistical techniques, and thus calls for simultaneous inclusion of physics-centred models such as different meso-scale numerical weather prediction systems, particularly the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.
Volume 129, 2020
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