Precipitation fluctuations in the Nepal Himalaya and its vicinity and relationship with some large scale climatological parameters


Precipitation records from 78 stations distributed across Nepal were analysed and all-Nepal (1948–1994) and subregional records (1959–1994) were developed. The all-Nepal and regional precipitation series showed significant variability on annual and decadal time scales. Distinct long-term trends were not found in these precipitation records. The all-Nepal record agrees well with the precipitation records from northern India, while it does not compare well with the all-India precipitation record. The all-Nepal monsoon record is highly correlated with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) series. The exceptionally dry year of 1992 recorded in Nepal coincides with the elongated El Nin˜o of 1992–1993 and the Mount Pinatubo eruption. A remarkable cooling in the region covering the Tibetan Plateau also occurred in 1992, suggesting that Pinatubo aerosol played a major role in the drought of that particular year in Nepal. In other years, the correlation between the precipitation record from Nepal and the temperature of the Tibetan Plateau is not significant, while a stronger correlation with temperature over the Indian Ocean and southern India exists. This provides further support for the strong relationship between the El Nin˜o–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and precipitation fluctuation in Nepal. The correlation is stronger between all-Nepal monsoon precipitation and SOI averaged over seasons following the monsoon compared with seasons preceding the monsoon. Copyright © 2000 Royal Meteorological Society.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

Publication Date


Journal Title

International Journal of Climatology



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type



Copyright © 2000 Royal Meteorological Society