In the present study, the diurnal variations in the time of initiation of rainfall, during two contrasting monsoon seasons of 2008 (below normal) and 2009 (normal) over the Indian subcontinent and surrounding oceanic areas has been analyzed. Harmonic analysis was used to detect the spatial variation of the diurnal cycle of the time of initiation of rainfall, as obtained at half-hourly intervals from the Kalpana 1 satellite. In general, the diurnal cycle in the time of initiation is strongest in regions where convective clouds are predominant, while it is weaker in regions where the clouds are predominantly stratiform with long-lived medium to high cloud cover. In the interior of the subcontinent, the time of maximum mainly occurred in the afternoon to evening hours, with a distinct southeast to northwest gradation. Substantial spatial variations were detected in the diurnal patterns between a normal and below normal monsoon years. Spatially, rainfall is initiated later in 2009 compared to 2008 over most of the interior of the Indian subcontinent. The most distinct difference was observed over the core monsoon region in central India, where the diurnal patterns were stronger in 2009 compared to 2008. On the other hand, over the oceans surrounding the Indian subcontinent, the initiation times are generally earlier in 2009.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science