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CR 80:175-188 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01600

Extreme rainfall and drought events in Tamil Nadu, India

R. Rajkumar1,*, C. S. Shaijumon1, B. Gopakumar2, Deepak Gopalakrishnan3

1Department of Humanities, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695547, India
2Department of Mathematics, Government Engineering College, Thrissur 680009, India
3Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, Maharashtra, 411008, India
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In the present study, we examined the exposure of the Tamil Nadu region, India, to droughts and extreme rainfall events using the Standardised Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and a classification scheme based on daily rainfall. We used high-resolution temperature and rainfall observations from the India Meteorological Department for the period 1951-2016. The robustness of the results was tested using the Mann-Kendall trend (M-K) test and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test. During the study period, there were statistically significant increasing trends in drought area (90% significance level), maximum drought intensity (99% significance level) and maximum drought severity (99% significance level) over the Tamil Nadu region. There has also been an increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events in recent years. The spatio-temporal dimensions of this study suggest an increasing exposure of this semi-arid, rain shadow region to severe droughts and extreme rainfall events in recent decades. The results provide sufficient grounds to substantiate the necessity of immediate interventions at the policy level.


KEY WORDS: Drought · SPEI · Extreme rainfall · Rain shadow region · Semi-arid climate


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Cite this article as: Rajkumar R, Shaijumon CS, Gopakumar B, Gopalakrishnan D (2020) Extreme rainfall and drought events in Tamil Nadu, India. Clim Res 80:175-188. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01600

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