Hydrometeorological Study of the Himalayan Region

Research Article

Austin J Earth Sci. 2015;2(1): 1010.

Hydrometeorological Study of the Himalayan Region

Nandargi S* and Dhar ON

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, India

*Corresponding author: : Shobha Nandargi, Centre for Climate Change Research, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pashan, Pune, India

Received: February 11, 2015; Accepted: April 07, 2015; Published: April 08, 2015


The Himalayan mountain ranges uniquely placed to modulate the regional monsoon climate in the Indian subcontinent. Many studies over the last 30 years focused on investigating the large-scale modes of variability of the Indian monsoon climate with respect to the role of the Himalayan ranges and the Tibetan Plateau. On seasonal and inter-annual time-scales, the monsoon season in the Himalayas provides a stage where rapid environmental change and extreme events (viz. rainstorms, floods, landslides, etc.) occur on schedule. In view of this, the present study deals with the hydrometeorological studies of the three major sections of the Himalayas i.e. a) Northwest b) Central and c) Northeast Himalayas with special reference to 24-hr highest rainfall, rainstorms and floods occurred during the last 135 years or so besides mentioning meteorological situations responsible for causing such extreme events during monsoon as well as non-monsoon season.

Keywords: Himalayas; Variation of rainfall; Extreme one-day rainfall; Climate change


While writing about the Himalayas one is reminded of the famous lines from Frank S. Sympthe that legendary mountaineer and writer, who wrote in his book "Kamet Conquered" as follows :-

"The Himalayas must be approached humbly. Respect their beauty, their majesty and their power and they will treat you as you deserve. Approach them ignorantly or in a spirit of bravado and they will destroy you. Other mountains forgive mistakes but not the Himalayas!!"

The Himalayan mountain ranges exercise a very dominant influence on the climate of the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan plateau extending from Nanga Parbat (8126m) in the northwest to Namche Barwa (7756m) in the east, in the form of a convex arc with its convexity to the south (Figure 1). As a result of its southerly dip, it is nearer to the equator by about 700kms in its eastern end. The total length of this mountain range is about 2400kms and its width varies from about 250 to 400kms. This loftiest mountain complex contains eleven of the fourteen world's peaks exceeding 8000m (Figure 1) and 31 peaks exceeding 7600m in elevation. There are series of narrow chains of high mountains with their crest-lines (falling between 5000m to 5500m) are transverse by a number of trans-Himalayan rivers and their tributaries which play an active role in eroding and shaping the high mountains, producing deep valleys and gorges. Physically the entire range is divided into three almost parallel subranges.