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Investigation of orographic features influencing spatial distribution of rainfall over the Western Ghats of India using satellite data

Tawde, Sayli A and Singh, Charu (2015) Investigation of orographic features influencing spatial distribution of rainfall over the Western Ghats of India using satellite data. In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY, 35 (9). pp. 2280-2293.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joc.4146


Using remotely sensed Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42 rainfall and topographic data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Digital Elevation Model (DEM), the impact of oroghraphical aspects such as topography, spatial variability of elevation and altitude of apexes are examined to investigate capacious summer monsoon rainfall over the Western Ghats (WG) of India. TRMM 3B42 v7 rainfall data is validated with Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) gridded rainfall data at 0.5 degrees resolution over the WG. The analysis of spatial pattern of monsoon rainfall with orography of the WG ascertains that the grade of orographic precipitation depends mainly on topography of the mountain barrier followed by steepness of windward side slope and altitude of the mountain. Longer and broader, i.e. cascaded topography, elevated summits and gradually increasing slopes impel the enhancement in precipitation. Comparing topography of various states of the WG, it has been observed that windward side of Karnataka receives intense rainfall in the WG during summer monsoon. It has been observed that the rainfall is enhanced before the peak of the mountain and confined up to the height about 800m over the WG. In addition to this, the spatial distribution of heavy and very heavy rainfall events in the last 14 years has also been explored. Heavy and very heavy rain events on this hilly terrain are categorized with a threshold of precipitation (R) in the range 150>R>120mmday(-1) and exceeding 150mmday(-1) using probability distribution of TRMM 3B42 v7 rainfall. The areas which are prone to heavy precipitation are identified. The study would help policy makers to manage the hazard scenario and, to improve weather predictions on mountainous terrain of the WG.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the WILEY-BLACKWELL, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
Keywords: Western Ghats; orographic precipitation; topography; altitude; slope; heavy rain
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2015 07:27
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2015 07:27
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52073

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