Research Highlight

Central India faces risk of major floods

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.288 Published online 29 September 2008

A study collating rainfall data for 104 years has forecast an increase in the risk of major floods over central India1.

Researchers from the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory in Tirupati studied high recolution daily gridded rainfall data between 1901 and 2004 to find the variability and long term trends of extreme rainfall events over central India. They found that the frequency of extreme rainfall events showed significant inter-annual and inter-decadal variations.

"Detailed analysis shows that inter-annual, inter-decadal and long-term trends of extreme rainfall events are modulated by the sea surface temperature variations over the tropical Indian Ocean," says one of the researchers M. Rajeevan.

The researchers say the study supports the hypothesis that the increasing trend of extreme rainfall events in the last five decades could be associated with the increasing trend of sea surface temperatures and surface latent heat flux over the tropical Indian Ocean.

"In the global warming scenario, the coherent relationship between Indian Ocean sea surface temperature and extreme rainfall events suggests an increase in the risk of major floods over central India," Rajeevan says.


  1. Rajeevan, M. et al. Analysis of variability and trends of extreme rainfall events over India using 104 years of gridded daily rainfall data, Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L18707, doi: 10.1029/2008GL035143 (2008) | Article |