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Northward Propagation Mechanisms of the Boreal Summer Intraseasonal Oscillation in the ERA-Interim and SP-CCSM

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, and Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies, Calverton, Maryland
  • | 3 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

Mechanisms for the northward propagation (NP) of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) and associated Asian summer monsoon (ASM) are investigated using data from the interim ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim, herein called ERAI) and the superparameterized Community Climate System Model (SP-CCSM). Analyzed mechanisms are 1) destabilization of the lower troposphere by sea surface temperature anomalies, 2) boundary layer moisture advection, and boundary layer convergence associated with 3) SST gradients and 4) barotropic vorticity anomalies. Mechanism indices are regressed onto filtered OLR anomaly time series to study their relationships to the intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) and to equatorial Rossby (ER) waves.

Northward propagation in ERAI and SP-CCSM is promoted by several mechanisms, but is dominated by boundary layer moisture advection and the barotropic vorticity effect. SST-linked mechanisms are of secondary importance but are nonnegligible. The magnitudes of NP mechanisms vary from the Indian Ocean to the west Pacific Ocean, implying that NP is accomplished by different mechanisms across the study area.

SP-CCSM correctly simulates observed NP mechanisms over most of the ASM domain except in the Arabian Sea during the early stages of the monsoon life cycle. Reduced NP in the Arabian Sea arises from weaker-than-observed easterly shear, reducing the effectiveness of the barotropic vorticity mechanism. The ability of SP-CCSM to correctly simulate NP mechanisms in other regions results from the model’s ability to simulate reasonable mean wind and moisture fields, a realistic spectrum of variability, and the capability of convection to respond to boundary layer changes induced by large-scale NP mechanisms.

Corresponding author address: Charlotte A. DeMott, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. E-mail: demott@atmos.colostate.edu

Abstract

Mechanisms for the northward propagation (NP) of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) and associated Asian summer monsoon (ASM) are investigated using data from the interim ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim, herein called ERAI) and the superparameterized Community Climate System Model (SP-CCSM). Analyzed mechanisms are 1) destabilization of the lower troposphere by sea surface temperature anomalies, 2) boundary layer moisture advection, and boundary layer convergence associated with 3) SST gradients and 4) barotropic vorticity anomalies. Mechanism indices are regressed onto filtered OLR anomaly time series to study their relationships to the intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) and to equatorial Rossby (ER) waves.

Northward propagation in ERAI and SP-CCSM is promoted by several mechanisms, but is dominated by boundary layer moisture advection and the barotropic vorticity effect. SST-linked mechanisms are of secondary importance but are nonnegligible. The magnitudes of NP mechanisms vary from the Indian Ocean to the west Pacific Ocean, implying that NP is accomplished by different mechanisms across the study area.

SP-CCSM correctly simulates observed NP mechanisms over most of the ASM domain except in the Arabian Sea during the early stages of the monsoon life cycle. Reduced NP in the Arabian Sea arises from weaker-than-observed easterly shear, reducing the effectiveness of the barotropic vorticity mechanism. The ability of SP-CCSM to correctly simulate NP mechanisms in other regions results from the model’s ability to simulate reasonable mean wind and moisture fields, a realistic spectrum of variability, and the capability of convection to respond to boundary layer changes induced by large-scale NP mechanisms.

Corresponding author address: Charlotte A. DeMott, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. E-mail: demott@atmos.colostate.edu
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