Precipitation recycling in the Indian subcontinent during summer monsoon

Amey Pathak, Subimal Ghosh, Praveen Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Indian summer monsoon rainfall is dominated by oceanic sources of moisture. However, land surface processes also have a significant role in the generation of precipitation within the Indian subcontinent. Evapotranspiration over a region supplies moisture to the atmosphere, which may lead to precipitation in the same region. This is known as recycled precipitation. The role of evapotranspiration as an additional source of moisture to precipitation has been investigated in earlier studies at continental scales; however, the amount of monsoon precipitation generated from evapotranspiration has not been quantified at the daily scale for the Indian subcontinent. To examine the role of land surface hydrology in regional precipitation and to quantify recycled precipitation, the dynamic recycling model at a daily scale with NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) data for the period of 1980-2010 is used. A high precipitation recycling ratio, that is, the ratio of recycled precipitation to total precipitation, is found at the end of the monsoon (September). As the monsoon progresses in India, enhanced soilmoisture and vegetation cover lead to increased evapotranspiration and recycled precipitation. The recycling ratio is highest (around 25%) in northeastern India, which has high vegetation cover leading to high evapotranspiration.Recycled precipitation over central and northeastern India in September is responsible for delaying the withdrawal of the summer monsoon over these regions. A trend analysis of recycled precipitation shows a statistically significant decreasing trend in northeastern India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2050-2066
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Precipitation recycling in the Indian subcontinent during summer monsoon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this