Simulations of the 1987 and 1988 Indian Monsoons Using the LMD GCM

K. Layal Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du CNRS, Paris, France 22 April 1994

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R. Raghava Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du CNRS, Paris, France 22 April 1994

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J. Polcher Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du CNRS, Paris, France 22 April 1994

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R. Sadourny Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du CNRS, Paris, France 22 April 1994

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M. Forichon Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique du CNRS, Paris, France 22 April 1994

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Abstract

Results from 90-day simulations with the LMD GCM are described, where sea surface temperatures of 1987 or 1988 years are respectively prescribed. The initial states correspond to 1 June 1987 and 1 June 1988. The simulated precipitation rates over India show a strong contrast between the two years, with drought occurring during summer 1987 and abundant rainfall during summer 1988. The dry regime simulated during 1987 corresponds to an eastward displacement of the outflow at 200 mb and a weaker westerly flow at the surface as compared with 1988, both features being in agreement with reality. Because it is more difficult for models to simulate rainfall differences than to simulate wind variations between the two years, the changes in simulated rainfall over India are studied in more detail. In particular, more integrations are carried out to test the sensitivity of rainfall variations to initial conditions, and the result is that the decrease of rainfall in 1987 compared to 1988 is a robust feature of the model.

Very early, the importance of evapotranspiration in simulating land rainfall was emphasized. Additional integrations are performed in order to study the impact of the new vegetation scheme introduced in the LMD GCM. It is shown that the contrast in rainfall between the two years is better simulated when the evapotranspiration rate of vegetation cover is represented. When vegetation is not represented in the model, the model does not simulate accurately the interannual variation of the precipitation rates.

Abstract

Results from 90-day simulations with the LMD GCM are described, where sea surface temperatures of 1987 or 1988 years are respectively prescribed. The initial states correspond to 1 June 1987 and 1 June 1988. The simulated precipitation rates over India show a strong contrast between the two years, with drought occurring during summer 1987 and abundant rainfall during summer 1988. The dry regime simulated during 1987 corresponds to an eastward displacement of the outflow at 200 mb and a weaker westerly flow at the surface as compared with 1988, both features being in agreement with reality. Because it is more difficult for models to simulate rainfall differences than to simulate wind variations between the two years, the changes in simulated rainfall over India are studied in more detail. In particular, more integrations are carried out to test the sensitivity of rainfall variations to initial conditions, and the result is that the decrease of rainfall in 1987 compared to 1988 is a robust feature of the model.

Very early, the importance of evapotranspiration in simulating land rainfall was emphasized. Additional integrations are performed in order to study the impact of the new vegetation scheme introduced in the LMD GCM. It is shown that the contrast in rainfall between the two years is better simulated when the evapotranspiration rate of vegetation cover is represented. When vegetation is not represented in the model, the model does not simulate accurately the interannual variation of the precipitation rates.

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