Observational Analysis of Two Contrasting Monsoon Years
The Indian summer monsoon rainfall contributes about 75 % of the total annual rainfall and exhibits considerable interannual variations. The agricultural economy of the country depends mainly on the monsoon rainfall. The long-range forecast of the monsoon rainfall is, therefore of significant importance in agricultural planning and other economic activities of the country. There are various parameters which influence the amount of rainfall received during the monsoon. Some of the important parameters considered by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for the study of monsoon are Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR), moisture content of the atmosphere, zonal wind speed, low level vorticity, pressure gradient etc. Compared to the Long Period Average (LPA) value of rain fall, the country as a whole received higher amount of rainfall in June, 2013 (34 % more than LPA). The same month showed considerable decrease next year as the amount of rainfall received was around 43 % less compared to LPA. This drastic difference of monsoon prompted to study the behaviour of some of the monsoon relevant parameters. In this study we have considered five atmospheric parameters as the indicators of monsoon behaviour namely vertical relative humidity, OLR, aerosol optical depth (AOD), wind at 850 hPa and mean sea level pressure (MSLP).
In the initial analysis of weekly OLR difference for year 2013 and 2014 shows positive values in the month of May over north-western parts of India (region of heat low). This should result in a weaker monsoon in 2014. This is substantiated by the rainfall data received for various stations over India. Inference made based on the analysis of RH profiles coupled with AOD values is in agreement with the rainfall over the corresponding stations.