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M. Sabre
K. Hodges
K. Laval
J. Polcher
, and
F. Désalmand


The monsoon depressions that form over India during the summer are analyzed using simulations from the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique general circulation model. This type of synoptic system often occurs with a frequency of one to two per month and can produce a strong Indian rainfall. Two kinds of analyses are conducted in this study. The first one is a subjective analysis based on the evolution of the precipitation rate and the pattern of the sea level pressure. The second one is an objective analysis performed using the TRACK program, which identifies and tracks the minima in the sea level pressure anomaly field and computes the statistics for the distribution of systems.

The analysis of a 9-yr control run, which simulates strong precipitation rates over the foothills of the Himalayas and over southern India but weak rates over central India, shows that the number of disturbances is too low and that they almost never occur during August, when break conditions prevail. The generated disturbances more often move north, toward the foothills of the Himalayas. Another analysis is performed to study the effect of the Tibetan Plateau elevation on these disturbances with a 9-yr run carried out with a Tibetan Plateau at 50% of its current height. It is shown that this later integration simulates more frequent monsoon disturbances, which move rather northwestward, in agreement with the current observations. The comparison between the two runs shows that the June–July–August rainfall difference is in large part due to changes in the occurrence of the monsoon disturbances.

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