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  • Author or Editor: Bin Wang x
  • DYNAMO/CINDY/AMIE/LASP: Processes, Dynamics, and Prediction of MJO Initiation x
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Xiouhua Fu, Wanqiu Wang, June-Yi Lee, Bin Wang, Kazuyoshi Kikuchi, Jingwei Xu, Juan Li, and Scott Weaver


Previous observational analysis and modeling studies indicate that air–sea coupling plays an essential role in improving MJO simulations and extending MJO forecasting skills. However, whether the SST feedback plays an indispensable role for the existence of the MJO remains controversial, and the precise physical processes through which the SST feedback may lead to better MJO simulations and forecasts remain elusive.

The DYNAMO/Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability in the Year 2011 (CINDY) field campaign recently completed over the Indian Ocean reveals a new perspective and provides better data to improve understanding of the MJO. It is found that among the five MJO events that occurred during the DYNAMO/CINDY field campaign, only two MJO events (the November and March ones) have robust SST anomalies associated with them. For the other three MJO events (the October, December, and January ones), no coherent SST anomalies are observed. This observational scenario suggests that the roles of air–sea coupling on the MJO vary greatly from event to event.

To elucidate the varying roles of air–sea coupling on different MJO events, a suite of hindcast experiments was conducted with a particular focus on the October and November MJO events. The numerical results confirm that the October MJO is largely controlled by atmospheric internal dynamics, while the November MJO is strongly coupled with underlying ocean. For the November MJO event, the positive SST anomalies significantly improve MJO forecasting by enhancing the response of a Kelvin–Rossby wave couplet, which prolongs the feedback between convection and large-scale circulations, and thus favors the development of stratiform rainfall, in turn, facilitating the production of eddy available potential energy and significantly amplifying the intensity of the model November MJO.

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