INFLUENCE OF ENSO ON WET AND DRY SPELL FREQUENCY FOR RAINFED CROPPING PERIOD OVER TAMIL NADU
Keywords: El Niño, La Niña, seasonal rainfall, wet spell, dry spell
Abstract. Several factors are responsible for recent climatic anomalies includes seasonal and inter-annual variability of rainfall in the region in which regional and global sea surface temperature (SST) changes is the most significant factor. It is well recognized that El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the dominant mode of climate variability on seasonal to inter-annual scales and its impacts are felt worldwide. Seasonal to inter-annual rainfall fluctuations strongly affect the success of agriculture and the abundance of water resources. Daily rainfall data at district scale was obtained from India Meteorological Department (IMD) for a period of 43 years (1971–2013) was categorized based on the ENSO episodes and the analysis was performed for the rainfed cropping period (RCP, September–December). A week (7 days) with the cumulative rainfall amount of 50 mm was considered as one wet spell. Non rainy days observed continuously for a decade (10 days) that period was considered to be one dry spell. Results revealed that El Niño conditions positively influenced the rainfall. Compared to neutral years, La Niña years received less rainfall as it showed the negative deviation in most of districts of Tamil Nadu. More wet spell and lesser dry spell weeks was observed under El Niño condition while the lesser wet spell and more dry spell was observed under La Niña conditions. Higher amount of rainfall during El Niño led to more number of wet spells under El Niño event.