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Monsoon-extratropical circulation interactions in Himalayan extreme rainfall

Vellore, RK and Kaplan, ML and Krishnan, R and Lewis, JM and Sabade, S and Deshpande, NR and Singh, BB and Madhura, RK and Rama Rao, MVS (2015) Monsoon-extratropical circulation interactions in Himalayan extreme rainfall. Climate Dynamics, 46 (11). pp. 3517-3546.

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Extreme precipitation and flood episodes in the Himalayas are oftentimes traced to synoptic situations involving connections between equatorward advancing upper level extratropical circulations and moisture-laden tropical monsoon circulation. While previous studies have documented precipitation characteristics in the Himalayan region during severe storm cases, a comprehensive understanding of circulation dynamics of extreme precipitation mechanisms is still warranted. In this study, a detailed analysis is performed using rainfall observations and reanalysis circulation products to understand the evolution of monsoon-extratropical circulation features and their interactions based on 34 extreme precipitation events which occurred in the Western Himalayas (WEH) during the period 1979–2013. Our results provide evidence for a common large-scale circulation pattern connecting the extratropics and the South Asian monsoon region, which is favorable for extreme precipitation occurrences in the WEH region. This background upper level large-scale circulation pattern consists of a deep southward penetrating midlatitude westerly trough, a blocking high over western Eurasia and an intensifying Tibetan anticyclone. It is further seen from our analysis that the key elements of monsoon-midlatitude interactions, responsible for extreme precipitation events over the WEH region, are: (1) midlatitude Rossby wave breaking, (2) west-northwest propagation of monsoon low-pressure system from the Bay of Bengal across the Indian subcontinent, (3) eddy shedding of the Tibetan anticyclone, (4) ageostrophic motions and transverse circulation across the Himalayas, and (5) strong moist convection over the Himalayan foothills. Furthermore, high-resolution numerical simulations indicate that diabatic heating and mesoscale ageostrophic effects can additionally amplify the convective motions and precipitation in the WEH region.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to springer International Publishing
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2017 05:41
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2017 05:41

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