Climatic Change

, Volume 106, Issue 3, pp 407–419 | Cite as

Monsoon rainfall extreme indices and tendencies from 1954–2003 in Kerala, India

  • Indrani PalEmail author
  • Abir Al-Tabbaa


Climate change has the potential ability to alter the occurrence and severity of extreme events. Though predicting changes of such extreme events is difficult, understanding them is important to determine the impacts of climate change in various sectors. This paper presents the change in rainfall extremes in the monsoon season in south-west Indian peninsula. Daily rainfall data were analysed for the entire Kerala state in India to determine if the extreme rainfall had changed over the 50-year period. Several indices were derived from the data to identify the extreme rainfalls. The trends of all the extreme indices were assessed by parametric ordinary least square regression technique, which were tested for significance at 95% level. Results showed significant decrease in monsoon rainfall extremes in Kerala that would affect the tendency of change in seasonal total rainfall. This study provides a comprehensive knowledge on extreme monsoon precipitation in Kerala, which could also be employed to study changing climate at local scale in other regions.


Monsoon Season Monsoon Rainfall Extreme Precipitation Extreme Rainfall Extreme Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexander LV et al (2006) Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation. J Geophys Res 111:D05109. doi: 10.1029/2005JD006290 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bardossy A, Hundecha Y (2003) Trends of extreme precipitation and temperature associated climatic conditions in the German part of the Rhine basin from 1958–2001. Contribution to STARDEX D9Google Scholar
  3. Cohn TA, Lins HF (2005) Nature’s style: Naturally trendy. Geophys Res Lett 32:L23402. doi: 10.1029/2005GL024476 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cruz RV, Harasawa H, Lal M, Wu S, Anokhin Y, Punsalmaa B, Honda Y, Jafari M, Li C, Huu Ninh N (2007) Asia Climate Change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds) Fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 469–506Google Scholar
  5. De US, Dube RK, Prakasa Rao GS (2005) Extreme weather events over India in the last 100 years. J Indian Geophys Union 9(3):173–187Google Scholar
  6. Goswami BN, Venugopal V, Sengupta D, Madhusoodan MS, Xavier PK (2006) Increasing trend of extreme rain events over India in a warming environment. Science 314:1442–1445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huth R, Pokorna L (2004) Parametric versus non-parametric estimates of climatic trends. Theor Appl Climatol 77:107–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Joshi UR, Rajeevan M (2006) Trends in precipitation extremes over India. National Climate Center Research Report 3, October 2006, India Meteorological Department, PuneGoogle Scholar
  9. Lau KM, Wu HT (2007) Detecting trends in tropical rainfall characteristics, 1979–2003. Int J Climatol 27:979–988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Manton MJ, Della-Marta PM, Haylock MR, Hennessy KJ, Nicholls N, Chambers DA, Collins DA, Daw G et al (2001) Trends in extreme daily rainfall and temperature in southeast asia and the south pacific: 1961–1998. Int J Climatol 21:269–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Moberg A, Jones PD (2005) Trends in indices for extremes for extremes in daily temperature and precipitation in central and western Europe 1901–1999. Int J Climatol 25:1149–1171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Moberg A et al (2006) Indices for daily temperature and precipitation extremes in Europe analysed for the period 1901–2000. J Geophys Res 111:D22106. doi: 10.1029/2006JD007103 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Murphy BF, Timbal B (2007) A review of recent climate variability and climate change in south eastern Australia. Int J Climatol. doi: 10.1002/joc.1627 Google Scholar
  14. Peterson TC (2005) Climate change indices. WMO Bull 54(2):83–86Google Scholar
  15. Peterson TC et al (2002) Recent changes in climate extremes in the Caribbean region. J Geophys Res 107:D214601. doi: 10.1029/2002JD002251 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rajeevan M, Bhate J, Kale JD, Lal B (2005) Development of a high resolution daily gridded rainfall data for the Indian region. Indian Meteorological Department, Met. Monograph Climatology No. 22/2005, p 26Google Scholar
  17. Rajeevan M, Bhate J, Kale JD, Lal B (2006) A high resolution daily gridded rainfall for the Indian region: analysis of break and active monsoon spells. Curr Sci 91(3):296–306Google Scholar
  18. Sen Roy S, Balling JR (2004) Trends in extreme daily precipitation indices in India. Int J Climatol 24:457–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Soman MK, Krishna Kumar K, Singh N (1988) Decreasing trend in the rainfall of Kerala. Curr Sci 57(1):7–12Google Scholar
  20. Wilcox RR (1998) A note on the Theil-Sen regression estimator when the regressor is random and the error term is heteroscedastic. Biom J 40:261–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering (GRO)University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations