With increasing concerns about climate change, the need to understand the nature and variability of monsoon climatic conditions and to evaluate possible future changes becomes increasingly important. This paper deals with the changes in frequency and magnitudes of extreme monsoon rainfall deficiency and excess in India from 1871 to 2005.

Recent news on the occurrence of off-seasonal natural disasters, such as pre-monsoon drought and post-monsoon flooding in India and particularly in the peninsular region, highlight the urgent need to look at the patterns of change in seasonal extremes at the local level.