Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 135, Issue 3–4, pp 979–990 | Cite as

New spatial and temporal indices of Indian summer monsoon rainfall

  • Sanjeev Dwivedi
  • R. Uma
  • T. V. Lakshmi Kumar
  • M. S. Narayanan
  • Samir PokhrelEmail author
  • R. H. Kripalani
Original Paper


The overall yearly seasonal performance of Indian southwest monsoon rainfall (ISMR) for the whole Indian land mass is presently expressed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) by a single number, the total quantum of rainfall. Any particular year is declared as excess/deficit or normal monsoon rainfall year on the basis of this single number. It is well known that monsoon rainfall also has high interannual variability in spatial and temporal scales. To account for these aspects in ISMR, we propose two new spatial and temporal indices. These indices have been calculated using the 115 years of IMD daily 0.25° × 0.25° gridded rainfall data. Both indices seem to go in tandem with the in vogue seasonal quantum index. The anomaly analysis indicates that the indices during excess monsoon years behave randomly, while for deficit monsoon years the phase of all the three indices is the same. Evaluation of these indices is also studied with respect to the existing dynamical indices based on large-scale circulation. It is found that the new temporal indices have better link with circulation indices as compared to the new spatial indices. El Nino and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) especially over the equatorial Pacific Ocean still have the largest influence in both the new indices. However, temporal indices have much better remote influence as compared to that of spatial indices. Linkages over the Indian Ocean regions are very different in both the spatial and temporal indices. Continuous wavelet transform (CWT) analysis indicates that the complete spectrum of oscillation of the QI is shared in the lower oscillation band by the spatial index and in the higher oscillation band by the temporal index. These new indices may give some extra dimension to study Indian summer monsoon variability.



The authors are thankful to anonymous reviewers for providing valuable suggestions to improve the quality of the manuscript. The authors thank the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for providing the gridded rainfall data. The authors wish to acknowledge the use of the Ferret program for analysis and graphics in this paper. Ferret is a product of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. (Information is available at

Funding information

The first author is thankful to Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India for providing necessary partial funds to carry out this work through PDF/2016/003854, National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for providing necessary support.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsSRM UniversityChennaiIndia
  2. 2.National Atmospheric Research LaboratoryGadankiIndia
  3. 3.Indian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia

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