Advertisement

On the dynamics of an extreme rainfall event in northern India in 2013

  • Anu Xavier
  • M G Manoj
  • K Mohankumar
Article

Abstract

India experienced a heavy rainfall event in the year 2013 over Uttarakhand and its adjoining areas, which was exceptional as it witnessed the fastest monsoon progression. This study aims to explore the causative factors of this heavy rainfall event leading to flood and landslides which claimed huge loss of lives and property. The catastrophic event occurred from 14th to 17th June, 2013 during which the state received 375% more rainfall than the highest rainfall recorded during a normal monsoon season. Using the high resolution precipitation data and complementary parameters, we found that the mid-latitude westerlies shifted southward from its normal position during the intense flooding event. The southward extension of subtropical jet (STJ) over the northern part of India was observed only during the event days and its intensity was found to be increasing from 14th to 16th June. The classical theory of westward tilt of mid-latitude trough with height, which acts to intensify the system through the transfer of potential energy of the mean flow, is evident from analysis of relative vorticity at multiple pressure levels. On analysing the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), negative values were observed during the event days. Thus, the decrease in pressure gradient resulted in decrease of the intensity of westerlies which caused the cold air to move southward. During the event, as the cold air moved south, it pushed the mid-latitude westerlies south of its normal position during summer monsoon and created a conducive atmosphere for the intensification of the system.

Keywords

Extreme rainfall events mid-latitude–tropical-interaction subtropical jet North Atlantic Oscillation westward tilt instability 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The first author (Anu Xavier) would like to thank the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India for providing a Fellowship.

References

  1. Archer D R and Fowler H J 2004 Spatial and temporal variations in precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin, global teleconnections and hydrological implications; Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., Eur. Geosci. Union 8(1) 47–61.Google Scholar
  2. Barnston A G and Livezey R E 1987 Classification, seasonality and persistence of low-frequency atmospheric circulation patterns; Mon. Weather Rev. 115(6) 1083–1126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chang C P, Harr P and Ju J 2001 Possible roles of Atlantic circulations on the weakening Indian monsoon rainfall–ENSO relationship; J. Climate 14 2376–2380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chevuturi A and Dimri A P 2016 Investigation of Uttarakhand (India) disaster-2013 using weather research and forecasting model; Nat. Hazards 82(3) 1703–1726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dee D P et al. 2011 The ERA-Interim reanalysis: Configuration and performance of the data assimilation system; Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 137(656) 553–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De U S, Dube R K and Rao G P 2005 Extreme weather events over India in the last 100 years; J. Indian Geophys. Union 9(3) 173–187.Google Scholar
  7. Ding Q and Wang B 2005 Circumglobal teleconnection in the Northern Hemisphere summer; J. Climate 18(17) 3483–3505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dubey C S, Shukla D P, Ningreichon A S and Usham A L 2013 Orographic control of the Kedarnath disaster; Curr. Sci. 105 1474–1476.Google Scholar
  9. Dugam S S 2008 Use of interactions between NAO and MJO for the prediction of dry and wet spell in monsoon season; J. Earth Sci. India 111 219–228.Google Scholar
  10. Folland C K, Knight J, Linderholm H W, Fereday D, Ineson S and Hurrell J W 2009 The Summer North Atlantic Oscillation: Past, present, and future; J. Climate 22 1082–1103,  https://doi.org/10.1175/2008JCLI2459.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fu R, Del Genio A D and Rossow W B 1990 Behavior of deep convective clouds in the tropical Pacific deduced from ISCCP radiances; J. Climate 3(10) 1129–1152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glowienka-Hense R 1990 The North Atlantic Oscillation in the Atlantic–European SLP; Tellus 42A 497–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goswami B N 2005 South Asian monsoon; In: Intraseasonal variability in the atmosphere–ocean climate system (eds) Lau W K M and Waliser D E, Springer-Praxis, Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 19–62.Google Scholar
  14. Goswami B N, Venugopal V, Sengupta D, Madhusoodanan M S and Xavier P K 2006 Increasing trend of extreme rain events over India in a warming environment; Science 314(5804) 1442–1445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Holton J R 2004 An introduction to dynamic meteorology; 4th edn, Elsevier Academic Press, pp. 146, 293.Google Scholar
  16. Hong C-C, Hsu H-H, Lin N-H and Chiu H 2011 Roles of European Blocking and the tropical–extratropical interaction in the 2010 Pakistan flooding; Geophys. Res. Lett. 38 L13806,  https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL047583.Google Scholar
  17. Hurrell J W 1995 Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation: Regional temperatures and precipitation; Science 269(5224) 676–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hurrell J W and Folland CK 2002 A change in the summer atmospheric circulation over the North Atlantic; Clivar Exchanges 25(7) 52–54.Google Scholar
  19. Joseph S, Sahai A K, Sharmila S, Abhilash S, Borah N, Chattopadhyay R and Kumar A 2015 North Indian heavy rainfall event during June 2013: Diagnostics and extended range prediction; Clim. Dyn. 44(7–8) 2049–2065.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kale V S 2003 Geomorphic effects of monsoon floods on Indian rivers; Nat. Hazards 28(1) 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kripalani R H, Kulkarni A and Singh S V 1997 Association of the Indian summer monsoon with the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude circulation; Int. J. Climatol. 17 1055–1067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kripalani R H, Kulkarni A, Sabade S S and Khandekar M L 2003 Indian monsoon variability in a global warming scenario; Nat. Hazards 29(2) 189–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Krishnakumar K N, Rao G P and Gopakumar C S 2009 Rainfall trends in twentieth century over Kerala, India; Atmos. Environ. 43(11) 1940–1944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krishnamurthy L and Krishnamurthy V 2016 Teleconnections of Indian monsoon rainfall with AMO and Atlantic tripole; Clim. Dyn. 46(7–8) 2269–2285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liebmann B and Smith C A 1996 Description of a complete (interpolated) outgoing longwave radiation dataset; Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 77 1275–1277.Google Scholar
  26. Li J, Yu R and Zhou T 2008 Teleconnection between NAO and climate downstream of the Tibetan Plateau; J. Climate 21(18) 4680–4690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Linderholm HW, Ou T, Jeong J-H, Folland C K, Gong D, Liu H, Liu Y and Chen D 2011 Interannual teleconnections between the summer North Atlantic Oscillation and the East Asian summer monsoon; J. Geophys. Res. 116 D13107,  https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JD015235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Manoj M G, Devara P C, Safai P D and Goswami B N 2011 Absorbing aerosols facilitate transition of Indian monsoon breaks to active spells; Clim. Dyn. 37(11) 2181–2198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Martius O, Sodemann H, Joos H, Pfahl S, Winschall A, Croci-Maspoli M and Sedláček J 2013 The role of upper-level dynamics and surface processes for the Pakistan flood of July 2010; Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 139(676) 1780–1797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McHugh M J and Rogers J C 2001 North Atlantic Oscillation influence on precipitation variability around the southeastern African convergence zone; J. Climate 14 3631–3642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mishra A and Srinivasan J 2013 Did a cloud burst occur in Kedarnath during 16 and 17 June 2013? Curr. Sci. 105(10) 1351–1352.Google Scholar
  32. Kotal S D, Roy S S and Roy Bhowmik S K 2014 Catastrophic heavy rainfall episode over Uttarakhand during 16–18 June, 2013 – observational aspects; Curr. Sci. 107(2) 234–245.Google Scholar
  33. Naidu C V, Malleswara Rao L, Satyanarayana G C, Durgalakshmi K, Dharma Raj A, Vinay Kumar P and Jeevana Mounika G 2015a Anomalous behavior of Indian summer monsoon in the warming environment; Earth Sci. Rev. 150 243–255.Google Scholar
  34. Naidu C V, Dharma Raju A, Satyanarayana G C, Vinay Kumar P, Chiranjeevi G and Suchitra P 2015b An observational evidence of decrease in Indian summer monsoon rainfall in the recent three decades of global warming era; Global Planet. Change 127 91–102.Google Scholar
  35. O’Hare G R E G 1997 The Indian monsoon. Part 1: The wind system; Geography 82 218–230.Google Scholar
  36. Pai D S and Bhan S C 2014 Monsoon 2013: A report (IMD Met. monograph no: ESSO/IMD/SYNOPTIC MET/01-2014/15); India Meteorological Department, Pune, India.Google Scholar
  37. Phondani P C, Maikhuri R K and Bisht N S 2013 Endorsement of ethnomedicinal knowledge towards conservation in the context of changing socio-economic and cultural values of traditional communities around Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand, India; J. Agr. Environ. Ethics 26(3) 573–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Priya P, Krishnan R, Mujumdar M and Houze R A 2016 Changing monsoon and midlatitude circulation interactions over the Western Himalayas and possible links to occurrences of extreme precipitation; Clim. Dyn. 49 2351–2364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rajeevan M, Bhate J and Jaswal A K 2008 Analysis of variability and trends of extreme rainfall events over India using 104 years of gridded daily rainfall data; Geophys. Res. Lett. 35(18).Google Scholar
  40. Rajesh P V, Pattnaik S, Rai D, Osuri K K, Mohanty U C and Tripathy S 2016 Role of land state in a high resolution mesoscale model for simulating the Uttarakhand heavy rainfall event over India; J. Earth Syst. Sci. 125(3) 475–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ranalkar M R, Chaudhari H S, Hazra A, Sawaisarje G K and Pokhrel S 2016 Dynamical features of incessant heavy rainfall event of June 2013 over Uttarakhand, India; Nat. Hazards 80(3) 1579–1601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rao B R S, Rao D V B and Rao V B 2004 Decreasing trend in the strength of tropical easterly jet during the Asian summer monsoon season and the number of tropical cyclonic systems over Bay of Bengal; Geophys. Res. Lett. 31 L14103,  https://doi.org/10.1029/2004GL019817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sati V P 2013 Extreme weather related disasters: A case study of two flashfloods hit areas of Badrinath and Kedarnath valleys, Uttarakhand Himalaya, India; J. Earth Sci. Eng. 3 562–568.Google Scholar
  44. Sharma M, Mishra S K and Tyagi S 2013 The impact of torrential rainfall in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India during June 2013; Int. Res. J. Environ. Sci. 2(9) 34–37.Google Scholar
  45. Singh N, Garbyal Y and Kumar K 2016 Orographic and tectonic control on extreme events with special reference to Uttarakhand disaster of June 2013 in the Mandakini Valley, India; J. Earth Sci. Clim. Change 7 346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sreekala P P, Rao S B, Arunachalam M S and Harikiran C 2014 A study on the decreasing trend in tropical easterly jet stream (TEJ) and its impact on Indian summer monsoon rainfall; Theor. Appl. Climatol.  118(1–2) 107–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Srinivasan J 2013 Predicting and managing extreme rainfall; Curr. Sci. 105(1) 7–8.Google Scholar
  48. Srivastava A K, Rajeevan M and Kulkarni R 2002 Teleconnection of OLR and SST anomalies over Atlantic Ocean with Indian summer monsoon. Geophys. Res. Lett. 29(8) 1284,  https://doi.org/10.1029/2001GL013837.
  49. Vellore R K, Kaplan M L and Krishnan R et al. 2016 Monsoon-extratropical circulation interactions in Himalayan extreme rainfall; Clim. Dyn. 46 3517,  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-015-2784-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wahab M A, Basset H A and Lasheen A M 2002 On the mechanism of winter cyclogenesis in relation to vertical axis tilt; Meteorol. Atmos. Phys. 81(1–2) 103–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Walker G T 1924 Correlation in seasonal variation of weather, IX. A further study of world weather; Indian Meteorol. Dept. Memoir 24(9) 275–332.Google Scholar
  52. Walker G T and Bliss E W 1932 World weather V; Mem. R. Meteorol. Soc. 4(36) 53–84.Google Scholar
  53. Watanabe T and Yamazaki K 2012 Influence of the anticyclonic anomaly in the subtropical jet over the western Tibetan Plateau on the intraseasonal variability of the summer Asian monsoon in early summer; J. Climate 25(4) 1291–1303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yang S, Lau K-M, Yoo S-H, Kinter J L, Miyakoda K and Ho C-H 2004 Upstream subtropical signals preceding the Asian summer monsoon circulation; J. Climate 17 4213–4229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Yin M T 1949 Synoptic-aerologic study of the onset of the summer monsoon over India and Burma; J. Meteorol. 6(6) 393–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhang C 1993 Large-scale variability of atmospheric deep convection in relation to sea surface temperature in the tropics; J. Climate 6(10) 1898–1913.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric SciencesCochin University of Science and TechnologyCochinIndia
  2. 2.Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar ResearchCochin University of Science and TechnologyCochinIndia

Personalised recommendations