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Precipitation climatology over India: validation with observations and reanalysis datasets and spatial trends


Changing rainfall patterns have significant effect on water resources, agriculture output in many countries, especially the country like India where the economy depends on rain-fed agriculture. Rainfall over India has large spatial as well as temporal variability. To understand the variability in rainfall, spatial–temporal analyses of rainfall have been studied by using 107 (1901–2007) years of daily gridded India Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall datasets. Further, the validation of IMD precipitation data is carried out with different observational and different reanalysis datasets during the period from 1989 to 2007. The Global Precipitation Climatology Project data shows similar features as that of IMD with high degree of comparison, whereas Asian Precipitation-Highly-Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation data show similar features but with large differences, especially over northwest, west coast and western Himalayas. Spatially, large deviation is observed in the interior peninsula during the monsoon season with National Aeronautics Space Administration-Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (NASA-MERRA), pre-monsoon with Japanese 25 years Re Analysis (JRA-25), and post-monsoon with climate forecast system reanalysis (CFSR) reanalysis datasets. Among the reanalysis datasets, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) shows good comparison followed by CFSR, NASA-MERRA, and JRA-25. Further, for the first time, with high resolution and long-term IMD data, the spatial distribution of trends is estimated using robust regression analysis technique on the annual and seasonal rainfall data with respect to different regions of India. Significant positive and negative trends are noticed in the whole time series of data during the monsoon season. The northeast and west coast of the Indian region shows significant positive trends and negative trends over western Himalayas and north central Indian region.

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