Contrasting monthly trends of Indian summer monsoon rainfall and related parameters

  • Nithin ViswambharanEmail author
Original Paper


Recent studies have reported contrasting inferences in the variability and trends of Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR). These studies have analysed the ISMR variability from a seasonal perspective. The present study observed the monthly ISMR trends from June to September for the period 1980–2015.The results show a significant contrasting trend of rainfall over India (in the heavy, moderate as well as low rainfall regions) in each month of the summer season. A significant decline of rainfall is occurring in June over the monsoon onset regions of the southwest coast of India. The rainfall trend over India exhibits a pattern similar to active type (above normal rainfall over central India and below normal in the foothills of Himalayas and southeast India) in July and September, conversely, a pattern similar to break type occurs in August. The monthly variability of summer rainfall is due to the changing pattern of low pressure over the Indian landmass and the associated modulation of zonal and meridional moisture flow as well as low-level vertical motion. The study also observes widespread spatial variability in the monthly trends of ISMR and concludes that the seasonal trend analysis does not reveal the actual pattern in the monthly trends of ISMR.



The author expresses his sincere thanks to IMD, CWC, Dibrugarh (India), Susana Barbosa, Vikraam, Suresh and anonymous reviewers. Sincere thanks to Amrutha Dilip, for the systematic editing of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The author declares that there are no competing interests.

Supplementary material

704_2018_2695_Fig7_ESM.png (2.1 mb)
Fig. S1

a) Regional map of India, the four black boxed regions are the selected grid points for Monsoon trough Index (MTI), The area enclosed in red dotted region represent the selected low pressure region over India b) Linear trend of area average zonal moisture flow (ZMF), meridional moisture flow(MMF) [left axis] and vertical velocity at 850 mb [right axis] in summer months over Northeast India (880 E - 970 E, 260 N- 280 N), Central Northeast India (800 E - 840 E, 250 N- 280 N), Northwest India (700 E - 760 E, 240 N- 320 N), Central India (770 E - 800 E, 220 N- 280 N) and Southeast India (77.50 E - 800 E, 80 N- 130 N) for the period1980-2015. Area averaged synchronous correlation between the rainfall and ZMF, MMF and vertical velocity at 850 mb for the period 1980-2015 significant at the 95 % confidence level are denoted as (S) in the figure legend. The vertical velocity is multiplied by -100. The vertical velocity is in -100×Pas-1,ZMF and MMF is in kgm-1s-1. Positive value represents westerly ZMF, southerly MMF, low level upward motion (vertical velocity), whereas a negative value represents easterly ZMF, northerly MMF, low level sinking motion (vertical velocity) (PNG 2.08 MB)

704_2018_2695_MOESM1_ESM.tif (1.8 mb)
High Resolution image (TIF 1.80 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydromet SectionCentral Water CommissionDibrugarhIndia

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