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monsoons: a brief introduction

monsoons: a brief introduction. Not quite an ordinary day in monsoon land!. A. C. D. B. what is a monsoon. Monsoon is a climatological feature covering roughly half the tropics (1/4 of the global surface)

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monsoons: a brief introduction

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  1. monsoons: a brief introduction

  2. Not quite an ordinary day in monsoon land! A C D B

  3. what is a monsoon • Monsoon is a climatological feature covering roughly half the tropics (1/4 of the global surface) • Strictly, a system where the winds and precipitation reverses (summer rain, winter dry) • Sufficiently reproducible to host the most successful agricultural system (5000 years of success) • Host 65% of the world’s population • Small changes in year-to-year climate can be catastrophic

  4. Basic Aims

  5. a description of the south asian monsoon

  6. Halley (of comet fame) was the first to describe monsoon and attribute differential heating between land and ocean as the cause

  7. mean august and january precipitation from MSU satellite (mm/day)

  8. Monsoon regions are the largest region where precipitation exceeds evaporation. This excess water must come from somewhere …

  9. …….which defines the scale of the monsoon. The monsoon is intrinsically inter-hemispheric with the winter hemisphere being the source of moisture

  10. monsoon of the americas • There are three major • monsoon systems: • Asian-Australian • African • Americas • Each has its own • characteristics and • differences but each is • characterized by summer • rains and seasonal wind- • reversals Rainfall Surface pressure trough

  11. asian-australian & african monsoon systems rain

  12. Annual cycle of radiative temperature “Cold” areas denote Cloudiness and precipit- ation. “Warm” areas show clear regions. Note that there are large gradients both east-west and north- south indicating that the monsoon is driven by heating gradients in both directions.

  13. annual cycle of surface winds over Indian Ocean and South Asia

  14. Annual cycle of convection (OLR) in the Indian Ocean-South Asia region

  15. Annual cycle of SSTin the Indian Ocean-South Asia region

  16. Climatological precipitation over South-Asia/Indian Ocean • Three maxima (Bay of Bengal, east coast India, and south of equator) • Equatorial maximum indicates importance of intraseasonal oscillations

  17. Longitudinal & latitudinal sections through monsoon region

  18. variability of the south asian monsoon

  19. Time Scales of Monsoon Variability • Interannual variability: Variations on the annual cycle of the monsoon producing anomalously wet or dry years. Generally influenced by sea-surface temperature variations associated with ENSO or inherent variability in the Indian Ocean. • Monsoon Weather: Weather events such as monsoon lows and depressions, tropical cyclones (hurricanes) and etc. Produce short-lived local flooding (or drought), erosion, high winds and etc. • Intraseasonal Variability: “Envelopes”: or clusters of weather events leading to 20-40 day droughts or flood periods. Most difficult to forecast but perhaps the most important of all time scales for economic and agricultural sectors.

  20. El Nino influences Indian Ocean Changes SST, sea surface slope and regions of maximum precipitation However, other factors are also important …..

  21. Indian Ocean Zonal Mode: Inherent mode of Indian Ocean invoked by outside perturbations including ENSO Time series of E-W SST gradient frequency spectra

  22. Sea-level variations associated with IOZM: Positive phase: warm SST WIO, low SSH EIO Negative phase: warm SST EIO, high SSH EIO

  23. Intraseasonal variability of the monsoon: Active and break periods of the Summer South Asian Monsoon The summer monsoon is divided into distinct periods of wet and dry. When it is dry on the plains, it is wet in the foothills of the Himalaya, just as occurred this year. The result was Nepal, Assam and Bangladesh floods, the latter due to strong Brahmaputra discharge.

  24. Intraseasonal Modes: Impact on Rainfall • Intraseasonal variability imposes a distinct form to precipitation. • Histograms of precipitation, shown for 9 years show distinct wet periods with lulls in between. • Lower diagram shows the distinct spatial character Precipitation histograms in central India

  25. Forecasting monsoon variability on 20-30 day time scales: Taking advantage of a new understanding of monsoon dynamics Peter J. Webster Georgia Institute of Technology

  26. Differences between active and break periods of the monsoon Note distinct bands of precipitation excess or deficit. During breaks, there is a 20-40 day drought across plains of India and excess rain over southern, northern and north-eastern regions

  27. Latitude-time section of OLR along 90E: 1995 Active phases of the monsoon commence near the equator and propagate northward (and southward) across South Asia. Active phase northward propagation commence active phase

  28. some basic physics

  29. Physical Ingredients for a Monsoon • Land-Sea differences: land and water have different heating capacities & water can store more heat because it is a fluid and can mix heat down for future release • Planetary rotation: introduces swirl and much stronger winds • Moisture: water vapor, collected over oceans through evaporation, condenses over land and marginal seas releasing vast quantities of heat • Orography: acts as elevated heat source which intensifies flow & also ducts flow.

  30. Impact of Moisture

  31. Impacts of Elevated Heat Sources Note the dominating effect of the Himalayas

  32. Changes in Tropospheric Temperature in Monsoon Region Temperature changes much larger over Himalayas than elsewhere.

  33. Impact of East African Highlands Arguably, without the Himalayas & the East African Highlands, South Asia would be a desert like North Africa

  34. Impact of Rotation: increases in intensity and scale

  35. Impact of anomalous monsoon seasons Strong and weak monsoons invoke different upwelling effects creating SST gradients. Then …….

  36. Explanation of why there is an IOZM with approximately biennial period Atmosphere responds to SST anomaly associated with strong/weak monsoon Ocean responds to anomalous winds producing ocean dynamic modes Anomalous SST produces a monsoon of opposite anomaly which wipes out IOZM

  37. Monsoon is a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere system

  38. predictability of the south asian monsoon

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