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Seminal role of stratiform clouds in large‑scale aggregation of tropical rain in boreal summer monsoon intraseasonal oscillations

Kumar, S and Arora, A and Chattopadhyay, R and Hazra, A and Rao, SA and Goswami, BN (2017) Seminal role of stratiform clouds in large‑scale aggregation of tropical rain in boreal summer monsoon intraseasonal oscillations. Climate Dynamics, 48 (3). pp. 999-1015.

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Modification of the vertical structure of non-adiabatic heating by significant abundance of the stratiform rain in the tropics has been known to influence the large-scale circulation. However, the role of the stratiform rain on the space–time evolution of the observed Boreal summer monsoon intraseasonal oscillations (MISO) has so far been ignored. In the present study, we unravel a feedback mechanism through which the stratiform component of the rain leads to aggregation (organization) of rain on the MISO scale, making it an indispensable component of the MISO evolution dynamics. Using TRMM 3A25 monthly mean data (between 1998 and 2013), the ratio between convective and stratiform rain (RCS) is shown to be strongly related to the total rainfall. Further, composites of rainfall and circulation anomalies corresponding to high (low) values of RCS over the Central India or over the Equatorial Indian Ocean show spatial structures remarkably similar to that associated with the MISOs. Analyzing lead–lag relationship between the convective rain, the stratiform rain and the large scale moisture convergence with respect to peak active (break) spells from daily modern era retrospective-analysis for research and applications data, we unravel that the initial isolated convective elements spawn the stratiform rain which in turn modifies the vertical distribution of heating and leads to stronger large scale moisture convergence thereby producing more convective elements and more stratiform rain ultimately leading to aggregation of rain on the MISO scale. Our finding indicates that large and persisting systematic biases in simulating the summer monsoon rainfall over the Asian monsoon region by climate models are likely to be related to the systematic biases in simulating the MISOs which in turn are related to the serious underestimation of stratiform rain in most climate models.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer International Publishing
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stratiform rain;Moisture convergence; Atmospheric heating; MISO
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2017 09:20
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2017 09:20

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