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Indian summer monsoon rainfall variability in response to differences in the decay phase of El Niño

Chowdary, JS and Harsha, HS and Gnanaseelan, C and Srinivas, G and Parekh, A and Pillai, P and Naidu, CV (2017) Indian summer monsoon rainfall variability in response to differences in the decay phase of El Niño. Climate Dynamics, 48 (7). pp. 2707-2727.

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In general the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) rainfall is near normal or excess during the El Niño decay phase. Nevertheless the impact of large variations in decaying El Niño on the ISM rainfall and circulation is not systematically examined. Based on the timing of El Niño decay with respect to boreal summer season, El Niño decay phases are classified into three types in this study using 142 years of sea surface temperature (SST) data, which are as follows: (1) early-decay (ED; decay during spring), (2) mid-summer decay (MD; decay by mid-summer) and (3) no-decay (ND; no decay in summer). It is observed that ISM rainfall is above normal/excess during ED years, normal during MD years and below normal/deficit in ND years, suggesting that the differences in El Niño decay phase display profound impact on the ISM rainfall. Tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) SST warming, induced by El Niño, decays rapidly before the second half of the monsoon season (August and September) in ED years, but persists up to the end of the season in MD years, whereas TIO warming maintained up to winter in ND case. Analysis reveals the existence of strong sub-seasonal ISM rainfall variations in the summer following El Niño years. During ED years, strong negative SST anomalies develop over the equatorial central-eastern Pacific by June and are apparent throughout the summer season accompanied by anomalous moisture divergence and high sea level pressure (SLP). The associated moisture convergence and low SLP over ISM region favour excess rainfall (mainly from July onwards). This circulation and rainfall anomalies are highly influenced by warm TIO SST and Pacific La Niña conditions in ED years. Convergence of southwesterlies from Arabian Sea and northeasterlies from Bay of Bengal leads to positive rainfall over most part of the Indian subcontinent from August onwards in MD years. ND years are characterized by negative rainfall anomaly spatial pattern and weaker circulation over India throughout the summer season, which are mainly due to persisting El Niño related warm SST anomalies over the Pacific. Atmospheric general circulation model simulation supports our hypothesis that El Niño decay variations modulate ISM rainfall and circulation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer International Publishing
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indian summer monsoon;El Niño decay phase;Sea surface temperature;Indian Ocean;Tropospheric temperature
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 11:09
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 11:09

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