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Extreme daily rainfall in Pakistan and north India: scale-interactions, mechanisms, and precursors

Hunt, K. M. R., Turner, A. G. and Shaffrey, L. C. (2018) Extreme daily rainfall in Pakistan and north India: scale-interactions, mechanisms, and precursors. Monthly Weather Review, 146 (4). pp. 1005-1022. ISSN 0027-0644

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/MWR-D-17-0258.1

Abstract/Summary

While much of India is used to heavy precipitation and frequent low-pressure systems during the summer monsoon, towards the northwest and into Pakistan, such events are uncommon. Here, as much as a third of the annual rainfall is delivered sporadically during the winter monsoon by western disturbances. Such events of sparse but heavy precipitation in this region of typically mountainous valleys in the north and desert in the south can be catastrophic, as in the case of the Pakistan floods of July 2010. In this study, we identify extreme precipitation events (EPEs) in a box approximately covering this region (65◦ -78◦W, 25◦ -38◦N) using the APHRODITE gauge-based precipitation product. The role of the large-scale circulation in causing EPEs is investigated: it is found that, during winter, they often coexist with an upper-tropospheric Rossby wave train that has prominent anomalous southerlies over the region of interest. These winter EPEs are also found to be strongly colocated with incident western disturbances whereas those occurring during the summer are found to have a less direct relationship. Conversely, summer EPEs are found to have a strong relationship with tropical lows. A detailed Lagrangian method is used to explore possible sources of moisture for such events, and suggests that in winter, the moisture is mostly drawn from the Arabian Sea, whereas during the summer, it comes from along the African coast and the Indian monsoon trough region.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:75584
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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