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Title: Influence of extratropical sea-surface temperature on the Indian summer monsoon: an unexplored source of seasonal predictability
Authors: Chattopadhyay, Rajib
Phani, R.
Sabeerali, C. T.
Dhakate, A. R.
Salunke, K. D.
Mahapatra, S.
Rao, A. Suryachandra
Dept. of Earth and Climate Science
Keywords: Indian summer monsoon
Extratropical sea-surface temperature
Seasonal prediction
Issue Date: Oct-2015
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 141(692), 2760-2775.
Abstract: Based on extensive analysis of observations and a series of climate model experiments, here we establish that slow variations of northern hemispheric extratropical sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies can augment seasonal predictability of the south Asian monsoon. The SST conditions and performance of the south Asian monsoon during 2013 boreal summer months (June-September) led us to hypothesize that the strong extratropical SST anomalies in the North Pacific and North Atlantic in conjunction with weak tropical SST anomalies (weak La Nina) were responsible for the above-normal rainfall over India during 2013. We also argue that the 2013 SST pattern and above-normal monsoon condition are not unique but occurred on several occasions in the past. Further, we show that there is a complementary pattern of strong extratropical SST and weak tropical SST that is associated with below-normal south Asian monsoon rainfall. We also show that the extratropical SST pattern in the Northern Hemisphere is associated with a low-frequency interdecadal mode of variability indicating potential predictability associated with such extratropical SST forcing. Extensive experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model forced by such SST conditions elucidate the mechanism through which the extratropical SSTs influence the Indian monsoon. The SST anomalies affect the north-south temperature gradient and lead to a local displacement of the jet stream, setting up a quasi-stationary wave. Such a stationary wave, in turn, affects the tropospheric temperature (TT) over southern Eurasia, influencing the north-south TT gradient in the region and thereby the Indian monsoon. Our discovery of this additional source of potential predictability together with the fact that the new-generation coupled ocean-atmosphere models are capable of predicting the extratropical SST anomalies brightens the prospect of south Asian monsoon prediction.
ISSN: 0035-9009
Appears in Collections:JOURNAL ARTICLES

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