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Meteorological sub-divisions of India: Assessment of coherence, homogeneity and recommended redelineation

Kulkarni, A and Guhathakurta, P and Patwardhan, S and Gadgil, S (2020) Meteorological sub-divisions of India: Assessment of coherence, homogeneity and recommended redelineation. In: Mausam, 71 (4). pp. 585-604.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.54302/mausam.v71i4.41


The data on mean rainfall and mean rainfall anomaly of the meteorological sub-divisions of India, on different time-scales, is extensively used for monitoring the progress of the monsoon as well as applications and research. As such, it is important to ensure that the sub-divisional means are meaningful representations of the rainfall and the rainfall anomaly at districts/stations within the sub-division. Hence, the criteria to be satisfied for an appropriate delineation of a meteorological sub-division are high levels of coherence and homogeneity. In this paper we present an assessment of the coherence and homogeneity of the current meteorological sub-divisions, for rainfall on the seasonal scale, by analysis of monthly district average rainfall for the period 1901-2015 during the summer monsoon for all the states, except Tamil Nadu for which June-December data are considered. Since, earlier studies have shown that some of the sub-divisions of Karnataka and Maharashtra are neither coherent nor homogeneous, the problem of redelineation of the sub-divisions of these states is first addressed. We have assumed that the number of coherent zones in a state is the same as the number of current sub-divisions. Identification of coherent zones is achieved by successive application of the K-means (KM) clustering method to the seasonal rainfall of the districts, considering correlation of seasonal rainfall between districts as a measure of similarity. For these two states we find that some of the districts are not coherent and homogeneous. So we have repeated the exercise with analysis of a dense station network. The coherent zones identified from analysis of district data as well as station data, are found to be homogeneous as well and we have recommended that they become the new sub-divisions of the states. The new sub-divisions suggested for Karnataka, which are coherent and homogeneous, are: (i) Karnataka Western coast and Ghats (which includes districts/stations in the current sub-division of Coastal Karnataka as well as some from the sub-divisions of interior Karnataka) (ii) Karnataka northern plateau and (iii) Karnataka southern plateau. Of the current sub-divisions of Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha satisfy the criteria of coherence and homogeneity and can be retained as such. The current Madhya Maharashtra sub-division does not satisfy the criteria of coherence and homogeneity. We have derived a modified version of Madhya Maharashtra by allocation of some districts/stations of Western Ghats from the existing sub-division of Madhya Maharashtra to the existing sub-division of Konkan and Goa to generate a modified version of Konkan and Goa. These modified versions are coherent and homogeneous. Thus the suggested sub-divisions of Maharashtra are (i) modified version of Konkan and Goa (which could have been renamed as Konkan, Ghats and Goa but we have retained the old name) and (ii) modified version of Madhya Maharashtra, along with the current sub-divisions of (iii) Marathwada and (iv) Vidarbha. We have shown that the sub-divisions of all the other states of mainland India, are homogeneous and reasonably coherent and recommend that they should be retained as such.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Mausam
Publisher: India Meteorological Department
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to India Meteorological Department.
Keywords: Coherence; Homogeneity; K-means cluster analysis; Mean rainfall
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2023 04:32
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2023 04:32
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/80200

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