Spatial and Temporal Variations of Rainfall in the Southern Part of the Meghalaya Plateau

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences book series (AGES)


Southern part of the Meghalaya Plateau is commonly known as a place with the highest annual rainfall in the world. The analysis of rainfall variability was carried out using data collected from tippet-bucket SEBA RG50 rain gauges which were located in Cherrapunji, Mawsynram and Pynursla between March and October of 2005. Annual rainfall totals in Mawsynram and Cherrapunjee were over 2000 mm higher than in Pynursla located 20 km east, closer to the interior of plateau. Increase of annual rainfall from east to west suggests that even higher rainfall amounts may be expected in areas west of Mawsynram – in the southern part of the Meghalaya Plateau. The analysis also shows that rainfall intensity was the highest in June and during the pre-monsoon season at all three sites. The diurnal rainfall pattern follows a distinct variation of peak rainfall at nighttime and minimum hourly rainfall between 15:00 and 20:00.


Extreme rainfall Rainfall intensity Rainfall duration Meghalaya Plateau 


  1. Ahasan MD, Chowdhry AM, Quadir A (2010) Variability and trends of summer monsoon rainfall over Bangladesh. J Hydrol Meteorol 7(1):1–17Google Scholar
  2. Beresford AKC, O’Hare G (1999) A comparison of two heavy rainfall events in India: Bombay, 24 July 1989 and Cherrapunji, 12 June 1997. Weather 54(2):34–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Das JC (1951) On some aspects of rainfall at Cherrapunji. Indian J Meteorol Geophys 2(3):197–202Google Scholar
  4. Fujinami H, Hatsuzuka D, Yasunari T, Hayashi T, Terao T, Murata F, Kiguchi M, Yamane Y, Matsumoto J, Islam Md N, Habib A (2011) Characteristic intraseasonal oscillation of rainfall and its effect on interannual variability over Bangladesh during boreal summer. Int J Climatol 31(8):1192–1204. doi:10.1002/joc.2146 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fujinami H, Yasunari T, Morimoto A (2014) Dynamics of distinct intraseasonal oscillation in summer monsoon rainfall over the Meghalaya–Bangladesh–western Myanmar region: covariability between the tropics and mid-latitudes. Clim Dyn 43:2147–2166. doi:10.1007/s00382-013-2040-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goswami BN (2012) South Asian monsoon. In: Lau WKM, Waliser DE (eds) Intraseasonal variability in the atmosphere–ocean climate system. Springer, Berlin, pp 21–72Google Scholar
  7. Guhathakurta P, Rajeevan M (2008) Trends in the rainfall patterns over India. Int J Climatol 28:1453–1469. doi:10.1002/joc.1640 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Houze RA Jr (2012) Orographic effects on precipitating clouds. Rev Geophys 50(1):1–47. doi:10.1029/2011RG000365 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hoyos CD, Webster PJ (2007) The role of intraseasonal variability in the nature of Asian monsoon precipitation. J Clim 20:4402–4424. doi:10.1175/JCLI4252.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jagannathan P, Bhalme HN (1973) Changes in the pattern of distribution of southwest monsoon rainfall over India associated with sunspots. Mon Weather Rev 101:691–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kamal-Heikman S, Derry LA, Stedinger JR, Duncan CC (2007) A simple predictive tool for Lower Brahmaputra River basin monsoon flooding. Earth Interact 11:1–11. doi:10.1175/EI226.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kataoka A, Satomura T (2005) Numerical simulation on the diurnal variation of precipitation over Northeastern Bangladesh: a case study of an active period 14–21 June 1995. Sci Online Lett Atmos 1:205–208. doi:10.2151/sola.2005-053 Google Scholar
  13. Murata F, Hayashi T, Matsumoto J, Asada H (2007) Rainfall on the Meghalaya plateau in northeastern India – one of the rainiest places in the world. Nat Hazards 42:391–399. doi:10.1007/s11069-006-9084-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Murata F, Terao T, Hayashi T, Asada H, Matsumoto J (2008) Relationship between atmospheric conditions at Dhaka, Bangladesh, and rainfall at Cherrapunjee, India. Nat Hazards 44:399–410. doi:10.1007/s11069-007-9125-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ohsawa T, Ueda H, Hayashi T, Watanabe A, Matsumoto J (2001) Diurnal variations of convective activity and rainfall in tropical Asia. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 79(1B):333–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pathan JM (1994) Diurnal variation of southwest monsoon rainfall at Indian stations. Adv Atmos Sci 11(1):111–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Prokop P (2007) Land degradation of the southern slope of the Meghalaya Plateau, India (in Polish with English summary), vol 210, Prace Geograficzne. IGiPZ PAN, WarszawaGoogle Scholar
  18. Rakhecha PR, Clark C (1999) Revised estimates of one-day probable maximum precipitation (PMP) for India. Meteorol Appl 6:343–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rakhecha PR, Singh VP (2009) Applied hydrometeorology. Springer/Capital Publishing Company, Dordrecht/New DelhiCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Romatschke U, Houze RA Jr (2011) Characteristics of precipitating convective systems in the South Asian monsoon. J Hydrometeorol 12:3–26. doi:10.1175/2010JHM1289.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sato T (2013) Mechanism of orographic precipitation around the Meghalaya Plateau associated with intraseasonal oscillation and the diurnal cycle. Mon Weather Rev 141(7):2451–2466. doi:10.1175/MWR-D-12-00321.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Singh C (2013) Characteristics of monsoon breaks and intraseasonal oscillations over central India during the last half century. Atmos Res 128:120–128. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2013.03.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Soja R (2003) Precipitation in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, India. In: Górka Z, Więcław J (eds) The travels and research of geographers from Kraków (in Polish), Informator Polskiego Towarzystwa Geograficznego Oddział w Krakowie. Oddział PTG, Kraków, pp 216–221Google Scholar
  24. Starkel L, Singh S, Soja R, Froehlich W, Syiemlieh H, Prokop P (2002) Rainfall, runoff and soil erosion in the globally extreme humid area, Cherrapunji Region, India (preliminary observations). Geogr Pol 75(1):43–65Google Scholar
  25. Twardosz R (2007) Seasonal characteristics of diurnal precipitation variation in Kraków (South Poland). Int J Climatol 27:957–968. doi:10.1002/joc.1439 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Twardosz R (2010) An analysis of diurnal variations of heavy hourly precipitation in Kraków using a classification of circulation types over southern Poland. Phys Chem Earth 35:456–461. doi:10.1016/j.pce.2009.11.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. World Meteorological Organisation (2008) Guide to meteorological instruments and methods of observation, vol 8, 7th edn, WMO. World Meteorological Organisation, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geography, Pedagogical University of CracowKrakówPoland

Personalised recommendations