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An objective definition of the Indian summer monsoon season and a new perspective on the ENSO–monsoon relationship

Xavier, Prince K and Marzin, Charline and Goswami, BN (2007) An objective definition of the Indian summer monsoon season and a new perspective on the ENSO–monsoon relationship. In: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 133 (624). pp. 749-764.

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Abstract

The concept of an interannually varying Indian summer monsoon season is introduced here, considering that the duration of the primary driving of the Indian monsoon – the large-scale meridional gradient of the deep tropospheric heat source – may vary from one year to another. Onset (withdrawal) is defined as the day when the tropospheric heat source shifts from south to north (north to south). This physical principle leads to a new thermodynamic index of the seasonal mean monsoon. While the traditional measure of seasonal rainfall, averaged from 1 June to 30 September, indicates a breakdown of the ENSO–monsoon relationship in recent decades, it is argued that this breakdown is partly due to the inappropriate definition of a fixed monsoon season. With a new physically based definition of the seasonal mean, the ENSO–monsoon relationship has remained steady over the decades. El Nino (La Nina) events contract (expand) the season, and thus decrease (increase) the seasonal mean monsoon by setting up persistent negative (positive) tropospheric temperature (TT) anomalies over the southern Eurasian region. Thus, we propose a new pathway, whereby the Indian summer monsoon could be influenced by remote climatic phenomena via modification of TT over Eurasia. Diagnostics of the onset and withdrawal processes suggest that onset delay is due to the enhanced adiabatic zubsidence that inhibits vertical mixing of sensible heating from warm landmass during the pre-monsoon months. On the other hand, the major factor that determines whether the withdrawal is early or late is the horizontal advective cooling. Most of the late (early) onsets and early (late) withdrawals are associated with El Nino (La Nina). This link between the ENSO and the monsoon is realized through vertical and horizontal advections associated with the stationary waves in the upper troposphere set up by the tropical ENSO heating.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Royal Meteorological Society.
Keywords: Apparent heat source;Apparent moisture sink;Length of rainy season;Tropospheric temperature
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:39
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/11794

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