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Johnson Glejin, V. Sanil Kumar, T. M. Balakrishnan Nair, Jai Singh, and Prakash Mehra

Abstract

Wave data collected off Ratnagiri, which is on the west coast of India, in 2010 and 2011 are used to examine the presence of the summer shamal swells. This study also aims to understand variations in wave characteristics and associated modifications in wind sea propagation at Ratnagiri. Wind data collected using an autonomous weather station (AWS), along with Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) and NCEP data, are used to identify the presence of summer shamal winds along the west coast of the Indian subcontinent and on the Arabian Peninsula. NCEP and ASCAT data indicate the presence of summer shamal winds over the Arabian Peninsula and northwesterly winds at Ratnagiri. This study identifies the presence of swells from the northwest that originate from the summer shamal winds in the Persian Gulf and that reach Ratnagiri during 30% of the summer shamal period. AWS data show the presence of northwest winds during May and southwest winds during the strong southwest monsoon period (June–August). Another important factor identified at Ratnagiri that is associated with the summer shamal events is the direction of wind sea waves. During the onset of the southwest monsoon (May), the sea direction is in the direction of swell propagation (northwest); however, during the southwest monsoon (June–August), a major part of the wind sea direction is from the southwest. The average occurrence of summer shamal swells is approximately 22% during the southwest monsoon period. An increase in wave height is observed during June and July at Ratnagiri due to the strong summer shamal event.

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T. R. Anoop, V. Sanil Kumar, P. R. Shanas, and Glejin Johnson

Abstract

The climate over the north Indian Ocean (NIO) is one of the most dynamic in the world because of seasonally reversing monsoon winds. In this study, the climate of the NIO and the variability of its surface waves using the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) global atmospheric reanalysis product (ERA-Interim) for the period 1979–2012 are analyzed. Annual average significant wave height (SWH) of the NIO ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 m and the seasonal average is highest (3–3.5 m) during the monsoon period [June–September (JJAS)]. Swells propagating from the Southern Hemisphere are present in the NIO during the premonsoon [February–May (FMAM)] and postmonsoon [October–January (ONDJ)] periods. The waves are separated into wind seas and swells based on the wave energy statistical method. The results show that the NIO is swell dominated and that wind sea heights are lower compared to the swell heights. Higher wind sea and swell heights are observed during the monsoon in the western NIO because of strong cross-equatorial winds of the Somali (Findlater) jet. In the postmonsoon period, the eastern NIO shows a higher swell height than the western NIO shows. SWH shows an annual increasing trend in the western NIO. On a seasonal scale, the trends are increasing significantly in the monsoon compared to the postmonsoon period in a major part of the NIO, whereas the premonsoon period shows a decline in SWH. In the NIO, the monsoon is the dominant mode of variability and it covers 92% of the total variability. Wave climate is also influenced by the annual and interannual variability in monsoon wind and rainfall.

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