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Moist Dynamics of Extended Monsoon Breaks over South Asia

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  • 1 International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Abstract

In the present research to identify moist processes that initiate and maintain extended monsoon breaks over South Asia moisture and moist static energy (MSE) budgets are performed on the newly available European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Interim reanalysis (ERA-Interim) and ensemble integrations from a coupled model. The hypothesis that interaction between moist physics and regional circulation and the role of cloud–radiation feedbacks are important is tested. Budget diagnostics show that dry advection is the principal moist process to initiate extended breaks. Its sources are (i) regional anticyclonic circulation anomalies forced by equatorial Indian Ocean negative rainfall anomalies advect low MSE air from north to central India, and (ii) rainfall enhancement over tropical west Pacific forces cyclonic circulation anomalies to its northwest as a Rossby wave response, and the northerlies at the poleward flank of this circulation advect air of low MSE content from north. The dominance of anomalous wind acting on climatological moisture gradient is confirmed from an examination of the moisture advection equation. A partition of various flux terms indicates that over central India, due to an increase in upwelling shortwave and longwave fluxes, radiative cooling increases during extended breaks. Here, enhanced rainfall over the equatorial Indian Ocean promotes anomalous radiative warming due to trapping of upwelling fluxes. The differential radiative heating anchors a local Hadley circulation with descent over central India. A direct implication of this research is that observational efforts are necessary to monitor the three-dimensional moisture distribution and cloud–radiation interaction over the monsoon region that would aid in better understanding, modeling, and predicting extended monsoon breaks.

Corresponding author address: Dr. H. Annamalai, IPRC/SOEST, University of Hawaii, 1680 East West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. E-mail: hanna@hawaii.edu

Abstract

In the present research to identify moist processes that initiate and maintain extended monsoon breaks over South Asia moisture and moist static energy (MSE) budgets are performed on the newly available European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Interim reanalysis (ERA-Interim) and ensemble integrations from a coupled model. The hypothesis that interaction between moist physics and regional circulation and the role of cloud–radiation feedbacks are important is tested. Budget diagnostics show that dry advection is the principal moist process to initiate extended breaks. Its sources are (i) regional anticyclonic circulation anomalies forced by equatorial Indian Ocean negative rainfall anomalies advect low MSE air from north to central India, and (ii) rainfall enhancement over tropical west Pacific forces cyclonic circulation anomalies to its northwest as a Rossby wave response, and the northerlies at the poleward flank of this circulation advect air of low MSE content from north. The dominance of anomalous wind acting on climatological moisture gradient is confirmed from an examination of the moisture advection equation. A partition of various flux terms indicates that over central India, due to an increase in upwelling shortwave and longwave fluxes, radiative cooling increases during extended breaks. Here, enhanced rainfall over the equatorial Indian Ocean promotes anomalous radiative warming due to trapping of upwelling fluxes. The differential radiative heating anchors a local Hadley circulation with descent over central India. A direct implication of this research is that observational efforts are necessary to monitor the three-dimensional moisture distribution and cloud–radiation interaction over the monsoon region that would aid in better understanding, modeling, and predicting extended monsoon breaks.

Corresponding author address: Dr. H. Annamalai, IPRC/SOEST, University of Hawaii, 1680 East West Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. E-mail: hanna@hawaii.edu
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