Wavelet analysis of precipitation extremes over India and teleconnections to climate indices

  • Maheswaran Rathinasamy
  • Ankit Agarwal
  • Bellie SivakumarEmail author
  • Norbert Marwan
  • Jürgen Kurths
Original Paper


Precipitation patterns and extremes are significantly influenced by various climatic factors and large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns. This study uses wavelet coherence analysis to detect significant interannual and interdecadal oscillations in monthly precipitation extremes across India and their teleconnections to three prominent climate indices, namely, Niño 3.4, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Further, partial wavelet coherence analysis is used to estimate the standalone relationship between the climate indices and precipitation after removing the effect of interdependency. The wavelet analysis of monthly precipitation extremes at 30 different locations across India reveals that (a) interannual (2–8 years) and interdecadal (8–32 years) oscillations are statistically significant, and (b) the oscillations vary in both time and space. The results from the partial wavelet coherence analysis reveal that Niño 3.4 and IOD are the significant drivers of Indian precipitation at interannual and interdecadal scales. Intriguingly, the study also confirms that the strength of influence of large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns on Indian precipitation extremes varies with spatial physiography of the region.


Extreme precipitation Teleconnection patterns Wavelets Partial wavelet coherence India 



El Niño-Southern Oscillation


Indian Ocean Dipole


Pacific Decadal Oscillation


Sea surface temperature



Maheswaran Rathinasamy acknowledges the funding support from the Inspire Faculty Award, Department of Science and Technology, India (IFA-12-ENG/28) and Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), India (ECRA/16/1721). Ankit Agarwal was financially supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (GRK 2043/1) within the graduate research training group Natural risk in a changing world (NatRiskChange) at the University of Potsdam (

Supplementary material

477_2019_1738_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 3386 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MVGR College of EngineeringVizianagaramIndia
  2. 2.Research Domain Complexity SciencePotsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  4. 4.GFZ German Research Centre for GeosciencesPotsdamGermany
  5. 5.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology BombayPowai, MumbaiIndia
  6. 6.Institute of PhysicsHumboldt Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  7. 7.Department of HydrologyIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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