Globally, climate change and extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, impacting water resources and farming systems. Therefore, spatio-temporal analysis of long-term rainfall is much needed to understand the variability of rainfall occurrence. The present study attempts to analyse spatio-temporal rainfall change scenarios in the 20th century (1901–2000) over Bundelkhand, one of the drought hit regions of India. Analysis shows that major rainfall contributed from 3 months, i.e. July, August and September. However, decreasing rainfall trend during monsoon season and increasing trend during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season indicates the scenario of shifting rainfall from normal occurrence. This result is supported by decreasing seasonality index (SI) (1.94–1.1). The northern part of the region witnessed positive annual and monsoon rainfall trend but the southern part observed negative trend. Pettitt's test indicates 1983 is the most probable change year with 0.95 probability, after which annual and monsoon rainfall was found decreasing. Wavelet analysis revealed that extreme rainfall occurrence was observed with a periodicity of 2–16 years. However, Bundelkhand rainfall pattern depicts declining rainfall trends, heading towards a further drier phase with more irregular rainfall in the coming era. The study will serve as future reference in similar regions in the world to determine vital weather patterns which may impact farming systems.

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