Open Access Digital Repository of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India

North-East monsoon rainfall extremes over the southernpeninsular India and their association with El Ni˜no

Singh, P and Gnanaseelan, C and Chowdary, JS (2017) North-East monsoon rainfall extremes over the southernpeninsular India and their association with El Ni˜no. Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 80. pp. 1-11.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


The present study investigates the relationship between extreme north-east (NE) monsoon rainfall (NEMR) over the Indian peninsula region and El Niño forcing. This turns out to be a critical science issue especially after the 2015 Chennai flood. The puzzle being while most El Niños favour good NE monsoon, some don’t. In fact some El Niño years witnessed deficit NE monsoon. Therefore two different cases (or classes) of El Niños are considered for analysis based on standardized NEMR index and Niño 3.4 index with case-1 being both Niño-3.4 and NEMR indices greater than +1 and case-2 being Niño-3.4 index greater than +1 and NEMR index less than −1. Composite analysis suggests that SST anomalies in the central and eastern Pacific are strong in both cases but large differences are noted in the spatial distribution of SST over the Indo-western Pacific region. This questions our understanding of NEMR as mirror image of El Niño conditions in the Pacific. It is noted that the favourable excess NEMR in case-1 is due to anomalous moisture transport from Bay of Bengal and equatorial Indian Ocean to southern peninsular India. Strong SST gradient between warm western Indian Ocean (and Bay of Bengal) and cool western Pacific induced strong easterly wind anomalies during NE monsoon season favour moisture transport towards the core NE monsoon region. Further anomalous moisture convergence and convection over the core NE monsoon region supported positive rainfall anomalies in case-1. While in case-2, weak SST gradients over the Indo-western Pacific and absence of local low level convergence over NE monsoon region are mainly responsible for deficit rainfall. The ocean dynamics in the Indian Ocean displayed large differences during case-1 and case-2, suggesting the key role of Rossby wave dynamics in the Indian Ocean on NE monsoon extremes. Apart from the large scale circulation differences the number of cyclonic systems land fall for case-1 and case-2 have also contributed for variations in NE monsoon rainfall extremes during El Niño years. This study indicates that despite having strong warming in the central and eastern Pacific, NE monsoon rainfall variations over the southern peninsular India is mostly determined by SST gradient over the Indo-western Pacific region and number of systems formation in the Bay of Bengal and their land fall. The paper concludes that though the favourable large scale circulation induced by Pacific is important in modulating the NE monsoon rainfall the local air sea interaction plays a key role in modulating or driving rainfall extremes associated with El Niño.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 09:17
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2018 09:17

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item