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Spatiotemporal variability in daily observed precipitation and its relationship with snow cover of Hindukush, Karakoram and Himalaya region in northern Pakistan

Waqas, A., Athar, H.
Atmospheric research 2019 v.228 pp. 196-205
autumn, climate change, mountains, probability distribution, river flow, snowpack, spatial variation, summer, temporal variation, water management, weather stations, winter, Himalayan region, Pakistan
This work quantifies recent spatiotemporal variations in daily observed precipitation in the mountains of the northern Pakistan (HKNP) for 30-year period (1986–2015) on annual as well as on seasonal basis. The probability distribution functions (PDFs) are employed to identify decadal changes in the observed precipitation of the region. The precipitation based PDFs depict a positive mean decadal shift of 0.13 mm/day from 1996–2005 to 2006–2015 in the HKNP region, on annual basis. Similar positive mean decadal shift of 0.18, 0.18, and 0.16 mm/day for precipitation in winter, summer and autumn seasons is noticed, from 1996 to 2005 to 2006–2015, respectively. It is further observed that the intensity of extreme precipitation events also increases progressively (from 213.8 to 257.0 mm/day) during 1986–1995 to 2006–2015 for summer season in the HKNP region. Along with temporal shifts, spatial positive (negative) precipitation shifts are also noticed in the western (eastern) parts of the HKNP region. Furthermore, significant increasing trends in the wet days at weather stations of the Karakoram subregion in the HKNP are directly related with increasing snow cover fraction trends for summer season in a changing climate. A progressively increasing high non-parametric correlation (0.49 to 0.76) between the precipitation and the river discharge of the region is observed in recent decade (2006–2015) which requires better water resource management in the HKNP region in coming years.