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A study on the variability of atmospheric and oceanic processes over the Arabian Sea during contrasting monsoons

Chowdary, JS and Gnanaseelan, C and Sinha, SK and Thompson, B (2006) A study on the variability of atmospheric and oceanic processes over the Arabian Sea during contrasting monsoons. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 94 (1-4). pp. 65-85.

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Abstract

The atmospheric and oceanic conditions associated with the southwest monsoon during the contrasting monsoon years of 2002 and 2003 over the Arabian Sea have been analyzed in the present study. Early onset of southwesterlies and reduced net heat gain due to low solar radiation were responsible for low sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) over the Arabian Sea during 2002 pre-monsoon (particularly in May). Conversely, light winds and an increased net heat gain set up the pre-monsoon warming in 2003. The development and intensification of deep convection over a large area of the Arabian Sea prior to the onset of the monsoon was observed during 2003, but was absent in 2002. Weak cross equatorial flow and a weak low level jet over the Arabian Sea reduced moisture transport towards the Indian subcontinent in July 2002. This scenario helped to contribute to a prolonged break in monsoon conditions during July. However, no such break in conditions occurred during July 2003. In 2002, the summer monsoon cooling of the Arabian Sea occurred well before July, whereas in 2003 cooling occurred during July. Estimates of wind driven Ekman (horizontal) and vertical transports showed maximum values in the month of June (July) in 2002 (2003). These estimates clearly show the importance of horizontal and vertical advection in the summer cooling of the Arabian Sea. During the southwest monsoon period, the Arabian Sea was warmer in 2003 than in 2002. Late onset of the southwesterlies in June, late cooling of the Arabian Sea in July, and downwelling Rossby wave propagation were responsible for the warm SSTs in 2003. Weak wind stress curl in July dampened the westward propagating sea surface height anomaly signals (Rossby waves) before they reached the western Arabian Sea in 2002, whereas, in 2003 strong wind stress curl enhanced Rossby wave propagation. During the summer monsoon period, subsurface temperatures in the south central Arabian Sea were warmer in 2003 than in 2002, particularly in July and August. Strong Ekman convergence, solar penetration, and downwelling (downward velocities) are responsible for the enhanced subsurface warming in 2003.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Uncontrolled Keywords: cooling; downwelling; Ekman transport; monsoon; regional climate; Rossby wave; sea surface height; sea surface temperature; solar radiation; summer, Arabian Sea; Indian Ocean
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2014 10:44
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2014 10:44
URI: http://moeseprints.incois.gov.in/id/eprint/1932

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