Changes in total cloud cover over India based upon 1961-2007 surface observations
Keywords:Total cloud cover, Diurnal temperature range, Rainy days, Trend, Aerosol, Nino3.4, Sea surface temperature, Correlation
Based upon 172 well distributed surface meteorological stations over India, annual and seasonal trends in total cloud cover and associated climatic variables diurnal temperature range and rainy days are investigated for 1961-2007. The data analysis indicates a general decrease in total cloud cover over most parts of India during winter, summer and monsoon. On monthly scale, statistically significant decrease in total cloud cover has occurred during April (3% per decade), June to September (2% per decade) and December (5% per decade). Seasonally, the declining trends in total cloud cover are significant for summer and monsoon (2% per decade). Spatial analysis of trends suggests coherent decrease in total cloud cover over central India (all seasons) and south peninsula (except post monsoon).
All India averaged monthly, annual and seasonal trends in diurnal temperature range and rainy days are mixed and weak. Spatially, trends in diurnal temperature range are decreasing over north and increasing over south peninsula while trends in rainy days are decreasing over large number of stations during winter and monsoon and increasing in summer and post monsoon seasons. However, the sizes of the same trend regions show considerable variability between seasons. Monsoon season total cloud cover and Nino3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies are significantly negatively correlated over all regions of the country except northeast indicating a strong relationship between them.
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