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Intraseasonal SST-precipitation relationship and its spatial variability over the tropical summer monsoon region

Roxy, M and Tanimoto, Y and Preethi, B and Terray, P and Krishnan, R (2013) Intraseasonal SST-precipitation relationship and its spatial variability over the tropical summer monsoon region. Climate Dynamics, 41 (1). pp. 45-61.

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The SST-precipitation relationship in the intraseasonal variability (ISV) over the Asian monsoon region is examined using recent high quality satellite data and simulations from a state of the art coupled model, the climate forecast system version 2 (CFSv2). CFSv2 demonstrates high skill in reproducing the spatial distribution of the observed climatological mean summer monsoon precipitation along with its interannual variability, a task which has been a conundrum for many recent climate coupled models. The model also exhibits reasonable skill in simulating coherent northward propagating monsoon intraseasonal anomalies including SST and precipitation, which are generally consistent with observed ISV characteristics. Results from the observations and the model establish the existence of spatial variability in the atmospheric convective response to SST anomalies, over the Asian monsoon domain on intraseasonal timescales. The response is fast over the Arabian Sea, where precipitation lags SST by ~5 days; whereas it is slow over the Bay of Bengal and South China Sea, with a lag of ~12 days. The intraseasonal SST anomalies result in a similar atmospheric response across the basins, which consists of a destabilization of the bottom of the atmospheric column, as observed from the equivalent potential temperature anomalies near the surface. However, the presence of a relatively strong surface convergence over the Arabian Sea, due to the presence of a strong zonal gradient in SST, which accelerates the upward motion of the moist air, results in a relatively faster response in terms of the local precipitation anomalies over the Arabian Sea than over the Bay of Bengal and South China Sea. With respect to the observations, the ocean-atmosphere coupling is well simulated in the model, though with an overestimation of the intraseasonal SST anomalies, leading to an exaggerated SST-precipitation relationship. A detailed examination points to a systematic bias in the thickness of the mixed layer of the ocean model, which needs to be rectified. A too shallow (deep) mixed layer enhances (suppress) the amplitude of the intraseasonal SST anomalies, thereby amplifying (lessening) the ISV and the active-break phases of the monsoon in the model.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Uncontrolled Keywords: air-sea interaction; atmosphere-ocean coupling; climate modeling; monsoon; precipitation intensity; sea surface temperature; seasonal variation; spatial variation; summer; tropical meteorology, Arabian Sea; Asia; Bay of Bengal; Indian Ocean; Pacific Ocean; South China Sea
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2014 07:30
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2014 07:30

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