Break Events of the Western North Pacific Summer Monsoon during 1979–2018

Ke Xu aLASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Riyu Lu aLASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
bCollege of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Abstract

The monsoon break is a typical phenomenon representing the monsoon’s subseasonal variability, but our understanding of it is still limited for the western North Pacific (WNP) area. This study identifies all break events of the WNP summer monsoon (WNPSM) from 1979 to 2018. The statistical analysis suggests that break events occur from late June to late October and peak at the end of August. The occurrence frequency of break events decreases as the duration increases, with 74% of events persisting for 3–7 days and merely 26% lasting longer (8–15 days). During the break period, which is characterized by significant suppression of convection, there is an extensive anticyclonic anomaly in the lower troposphere, corresponding to a notable westward retreat of the monsoon trough and a southwestward shift of the subtropical high. Meanwhile, an anomalous cyclone and convergence in the upper troposphere are also conducive to inhibiting convection. The composite results indicate that both 10–25- and 30–60-day oscillations contribute to the break, with their dry phases explaining 49.6% and 37.5% of the original suppression of convection, respectively. Around the break, the phase alternation of the 10–25-day oscillation causes convection fluctuation, while the 30–60-day oscillation maintains a stable dry phase that favors the establishment and maintenance of the break. A further case-by-case diagnosis suggests that 46 (51) out of the 61 break events occur in dry phases of the 10–25-day (30–60-day) oscillation, whereas only 10 (4) events occur in wet phases, indicating that the phase of the two oscillations significantly modulates the occurrence of the monsoon break.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Ke Xu, xuke@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

The monsoon break is a typical phenomenon representing the monsoon’s subseasonal variability, but our understanding of it is still limited for the western North Pacific (WNP) area. This study identifies all break events of the WNP summer monsoon (WNPSM) from 1979 to 2018. The statistical analysis suggests that break events occur from late June to late October and peak at the end of August. The occurrence frequency of break events decreases as the duration increases, with 74% of events persisting for 3–7 days and merely 26% lasting longer (8–15 days). During the break period, which is characterized by significant suppression of convection, there is an extensive anticyclonic anomaly in the lower troposphere, corresponding to a notable westward retreat of the monsoon trough and a southwestward shift of the subtropical high. Meanwhile, an anomalous cyclone and convergence in the upper troposphere are also conducive to inhibiting convection. The composite results indicate that both 10–25- and 30–60-day oscillations contribute to the break, with their dry phases explaining 49.6% and 37.5% of the original suppression of convection, respectively. Around the break, the phase alternation of the 10–25-day oscillation causes convection fluctuation, while the 30–60-day oscillation maintains a stable dry phase that favors the establishment and maintenance of the break. A further case-by-case diagnosis suggests that 46 (51) out of the 61 break events occur in dry phases of the 10–25-day (30–60-day) oscillation, whereas only 10 (4) events occur in wet phases, indicating that the phase of the two oscillations significantly modulates the occurrence of the monsoon break.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Ke Xu, xuke@mail.iap.ac.cn
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