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Vasubandhu Misra, Akhilesh Mishra, and Amit Bhardwaj

Abstract

This paper describes a novel simulation of active and break spells of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) using a relatively high-resolution regional coupled ocean–atmosphere climate model (RCM) run at 10-km grid spacing. Similar to what is seen in observations, the RCM-simulated active (break) spells are characterized by stronger (weaker) rainfall over central India and anomalous low-level atmospheric flow that enhances (weakens) the climatological flow pattern. Highlights of this study include the improved spatiotemporal structure, propagation characteristics, and amplitude of the intraseasonal variations of the ISM rainfall in the RCM simulation as compared with some of the more recent simulations conducted with global models at coarser spatial resolutions. This study’s RCM simulation also displays associated variations in the upper ocean, with active (break) spells of the ISM coinciding with colder (warmer) sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. These SST anomalies are mainly sustained by corresponding net heat flux anomalies on the ocean surface. The active (break) spells are further associated with shoaling (deepening) of the mixed layer depth, which is critical for the SST response to heat flux. All of these simulated features of intraseasonal variations of the ISM have been seen in earlier observational studies, which further confirms the fidelity of the model simulation and the importance of coupled air–sea interactions and upper-ocean stratification.

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Sushil K. Dash, Saroj K. Mishra, Sandeep Sahany, V. Venugopal, Karumuri Ashok, and Akhilesh Gupta
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T. N. Krishnamurti, Anu Simon, Aype Thomas, Akhilesh Mishra, Dev Sikka, Dev Niyogi, Arindam Chakraborty, and Li Li

Abstract

This study addresses observational and modeling sensitivity on the march of the onset isochrones of the Indian summer monsoon. The first 25 days of the passage of the isochrones of monsoon onset is of great scientific interest. Surface and satellite-based datasets are used for high-resolution modeling of the impact of the motion of the onset isochrones from Kerala to New Delhi. These include the asymmetries across the isochrone such as soil moisture and its temporal variability, moistening of the dry soil to the immediate north of the isochrone by nonconvective anvil rains, and formation of newly forming cloud elements to the immediate north of the isochrone. The region immediately north of the isochrone is shown to carry a spread of buoyancy elements. As these new elements grow, they are continually being steered by the divergent circulations of the parent isochrone to the north and eventually to the northwest. CloudSat was extremely useful for identifying the asymmetric cloud structures across the isochrone. In the modeling sensitivity studies, the authors used a mesoscale Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting Model (ARW-WRF) to examine days 1–25 of forecasts of the onset isochrone. Prediction experiments were first modeled during normal, dry, and wet Indian monsoons using default values of model parameters. This study was extended to determine the effects of changes in soil moisture and nonconvective rain parameterizations (the parameters suggested by the satellite observations). These sensitivity experiments show that the motion of the isochrones from Kerala to New Delhi are very sensitive to the parameterization of soil moisture and nonconvective anvil rains immediately north of the isochrone.

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