Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 1555–1568 | Cite as

Changing Pattern of Droughts during Cropping Seasons of Bangladesh

  • Morteza Mohsenipour
  • Shamsuddin Shahid
  • Eun-sung Chung
  • Xiao-jun Wang


There has been a growing concern on temporal variations on drought characteristics due to climate change. This study compares meteorological drought characteristics for two different periods to quantify the temporal changes in seasonal droughts of 18 weather stations of the country. Fifty-five years rainfall and temperature data are divided into two different thirty-year periods, 1961–1990 and 1985–2014 and standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) for those periods are calculated to assess the changes. Four seasons in this study are selected as two major crop growing seasons namely, Rabi (November to April) and Kharif (May to October) and two critical periods for crop growth in term of water supply namely critical Rabi (March–April) and critical Kharif (May). Results show that moderate, extreme, and severe Rabi droughts has increased in 11, 9, and 4 stations out of 18 stations, respectively, and Kharif severe and extreme droughts has increased in 8 and 9 stations, respectively, In addition, the frequency analysis shows that the return periods have decreased during 1985–2014 at the stations where it was high during 1961–1990 and vice versa. This has made the spatial distribution of return periods of droughts more uniform over the country for most of the seasons. Increased return period of droughts in highly drought prone north and northwest Bangladesh has caused decrease in average frequency of droughts. Consequently, this result corresponds that Bangladesh experiences fewer droughts in recent years. Trend analysis of rainfall and temperature data reveals that significant increase of mean temperature and no significant change in rainfall in almost all months have increased the frequency of droughts in the regions where droughts were less frequent.


Bangladesh Mann-Kendall trend analysis Seasonal droughts Standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index 



We are grateful to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for providing financial support of this research through research grant (Vote No. 06H36). This study was also supported by funding from the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016R1D1A1B04931844).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil EngineeringUniversiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)Johor BahruMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringSeoul University of Science and TechnologySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringNanjing Hydraulic Research InstituteNanjingChina

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