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P. Ernest Raj, P. C. S. Devara, R. S. Maheskumar, G. Pandithurai, K. K. Dani, S. K. Saha, S. M. Sonbawne, and Y. K. Tiwari


A compact, hand-held multiband sun photometer (ozone monitor) has been used to measure total precipitable water content (PWC) at the low-latitude tropical station in Pune, India (18°32′N, 73°51′E). Data collected in the daytime (0730–1800 LT) during the period from May 1998 to September 2001 have been used here. The daytime average PWC value at this station is 1.13 cm, and the average for only the clear-sky days is 0.75 cm. PWC values between 0.75 and 1.0 cm have the maximum frequency of occurrence. There is a large day-to-day variability due to varied sky and meteorological conditions. Mainly two types of diurnal variations in PWC are observed. The one occurs in the premonsoon summer months of April and May and shows that forenoon values are smaller than afternoon values. The other type occurs in November and December and shows a minimum around noontime. There is a diurnal asymmetry in PWC in which, on the majority of the days, the mean afternoon value is greater than the forenoon value. This asymmetry is more pronounced in the summer and southwest monsoon months (i.e., March–June). Monthly mean PWC is highest in September and lowest in December. The increase in PWC from the winter (December–February) to summer (March–May) seasons is about 50% and from the summer to southwest monsoon seasons (June–September) is almost 98%. Sun photometer–derived PWC shows a fairly good relationship with surface relative humidity and radiosonde-derived PWC, with a correlation coefficient as high as 0.80.

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