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CR prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01600

Extreme rainfall and drought events in Tamil Nadu, India

R. Rajkumar*, C. S. Shaijumon, B. Gopakumar, Deepak Gopalakrishnan

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The present study has 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. The study used high-resolution (0.25° × 0.25°) 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. The study has observed statistically significant increasing trends in the drought area (90% significance level), maximum drought intensity (99% significance level), and maximum drought severity (99% significance level) over the Tamil Nadu region during 1951-2016. The study has also observed an increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events in recent years. The spatio-temporal dimensions of the above results suggest an increasing exposure of this rain shadow, semi-arid 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.