In this study, we show that the annual monsoon depression (MD) frequency making landfall on the east coast of India shows a statistically significant decreasing trend for the period 1979-2010. Importantly, about 80% of this fall is confined to the south of 206N. To understand the plausible reason(s) for the weakening frequency of MDs in the southern Bay of Bengal in recent decades, we examine some of the seasonal average in-situ atmospheric parameters important for tropical cyclogenesis; we use various observational data from the IMD, and three atmospheric climate reanalysis datasets to account for possible quality constraints in them. Our findings suggest that the observed weakening of MD frequency south of 206N in the Bay of Bengal since 1950s is likely due to a declining trend in the mid-tropospheric relative humidity over the Indian region. Our numerical sensitivity experiments support this finding.
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