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Assessing climatic trends of extreme rainfall indices over northeast Bangladesh

Basher, Md. Abul, Stiller-Reeve, Mathew Alexander, Saiful Islam, A. K. M., Bremer, Scott
Theoretical and applied climatology 2018 v.134 no.1-2 pp. 441-452
climate, floods, livelihood, monsoon season, rain, water stress, Bangladesh
This study analyzes the trends of extreme rainfall indices over northeast Bangladesh for the period of 1984 to 2016 for the pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons. The research was framed as part of a project co-producing knowledge of climate variability and impacts through collaboration between scientific and local communities in northeast Bangladesh, which found pre-monsoon and monsoon rainfall to be most important. With access to a greater number of rainfall stations than previous work in northeast Bangladesh, we investigated trends in extreme rainfall events using the Mann–Kendall trend test and Sen’s slope estimator. To appraise the quality of the data, we used the Standard Normal Homogeneity and the Pettitt tests to check its homogeneity. Among the seven stations, only Sunamganj was found inhomogeneous, and was not considered for trend analysis. All indices of rainfall extremes showed a decreasing trend in both seasons, with the most significant decrease during the monsoon. Importantly, we saw a decreasing trend in the seasonal total rainfall and consecutive wet days, whereas there was an increasing trend in consecutive dry days. Moreover, we saw a decreasing trend in 1-day maximum rainfall, 5-day maximum rainfall, the intensity of the daily rainfall over 25 mm during the pre-monsoon and 50 mm during monsoon, which together may indicate a future decrease in the magnitude and intensity of flash floods and monsoon floods. If this trend continues, the northeast Bangladesh may suffer from water stress, which could affect the lives and livelihoods of communities living there.