Extreme Temperature and Rainfall Events, their Changes and Future Projections in India

Friday, 19 December 2014
Sushil Kumar Dash, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India
India has unique geographical location and the country spreads over a large area. The southwest and northeast monsoons are the most important quasi permanent systems which dominate the weathers in this part of the world. The summer monsoon rainfall during the months June to September has a large temporal as well as spatial variability. The surface air temperature has also a large temporal and spatial variability. For suitable scientific analysis, the whole country can be divided into several homogeneous rainfall and temperature zones. Some of the extreme weather events occurring in the country include land slides, cold wave conditions, flash floods, cyclones, heat wave conditions, floods, droughts and heavy precipitation. In the context of climate change, in addition to these extreme cases, it is important to examine all the weather events above their respective threshold levels in terms of frequencies of occurrences. Results of this study show that the atmospheric surface temperature has enhanced in all the homogeneous regions of India with a maximum value of about 10C during winter and post-monsoon months. There is a significant seasonal asymmetry in the temperature rise. Also extreme temperature events of different types have enhanced over all the regions. It is found that the total precipitation during the summer monsoon months of June to September does not show any statistically significant trend. However, the numbers of short spell high intensity rain events and dry spells have increased in the last half century. Long spell rain events, on the other hand, show decreasing trend. The decrease in the number of long spell rain events associated with similar tendencies in the number of monsoon depressions, the mean monsoon wind and its shears over India suggests that the Indian summer monsoon circulation might be weakening. This talk will also attempt to describe the changes in temperature and rainfall extremes and their projections at some selected locations in the country based on the coordinated international programme CORDEX and some results obtained from the integration of the regional climate model RegCM4.3 concerning the weakening of Indian summer monsoon.