Climate Dynamics

, Volume 48, Issue 11–12, pp 3565–3581 | Cite as

Rainfall trends in the South Asian summer monsoon and its related large-scale dynamics with focus over Pakistan

  • M. LatifEmail author
  • F. S. Syed
  • A. Hannachi


The study of regional rainfall trends over South Asia is critically important for food security and economy, as both these factors largely depend on the availability of water. In this study, South Asian summer monsoon rainfall trends on seasonal and monthly (June–September) time scales have been investigated using three observational data sets. Our analysis identify a dipole-type structure in rainfall trends over the region north of the Indo–Pak subcontinent, with significant increasing trends over the core monsoon region of Pakistan and significant decreasing trends over the central-north India and adjacent areas. The dipole is also evident in monthly rainfall trend analyses, which is more prominent in July and August. We show, in particular, that the strengthening of northward moisture transport over the Arabian Sea is a likely reason for the significant positive trend of rainfall in the core monsoon region of Pakistan. In contrast, over the central-north India region, the rainfall trends are significantly decreasing due to the weakening of northward moisture transport over the Bay of Bengal. The leading empirical orthogonal functions clearly show the strengthening (weakening) patterns of vertically integrated moisture transport over the Arabian Sea (Bay of Bengal) in seasonal and monthly interannual time scales. The regression analysis between the principal components and rainfall confirm the dipole pattern over the region. Our results also suggest that the extra-tropical phenomena could influence the mean monsoon rainfall trends over Pakistan by enhancing the cross-equatorial flow of moisture into the Arabian Sea.


Monsoon Rainfall trends Dynamics South-Asia Moisture transport Teleconnection 



This study is supported by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan under International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP) program. The study is further supported by the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad, Pakistan. The major work on this paper is carried out at Department of Meteorology (MISU), Stockholm University, Sweden. We would like to thank MISU for providing a stimulating and friendly work environment.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MeteorologyCOMSATS Institute of Information TechnologyIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of MeteorologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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