Seasonal and annual distribution of rainfall and snowfall with elevation has been studied for outer, middle and greater Himalayan ranges of Chenab basin in the western Himalayas. Rainfall and snowfall exhibited different trends with elevation on the windward and leeward slopes of the three ranges of Himalayas. Seasonal characteristics of rainfall have shown a spill over effect on leeward side during winter, pre-monsoon, and post-monsoon seasons in the outer Himalayas. The role of orography in the middle Himalayas was found to be more pronounced for both rainfall and snowfall in comparison to other ranges of Himalayas. Variation of snowfall with elevation was more prominent in comparison to variation of rainfall. In the greater Himalayan range it is found that rainfall descreases exponentially with elevation and snowfall increases linearly. Rainfall becomes negligible at elevations beyond 4,000 m on the windward side of the greater Himalayan range. Efforts have also been made to explain whether variation in precipitation is due to changes in precipitation intensity or number of precipitation days or a combination of both.
- Received February 22, 1994.
- Revision received October 19, 1994.
- Accepted December 21, 1994.
- © IWA Publishing 1995