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See Yee Lim
,
Charline Marzin
,
Prince Xavier
,
Chih-Pei Chang
, and
Bertrand Timbal

Abstract

TRMM rainfall data from 1998–2012 are used to study the impacts and interactions of cold surges (CSs) and the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) on rainfall over Southeast Asia during the boreal winter season from November to February. CSs are identified using a new large-scale index. The frequencies of occurrences of these two large-scale events are comparable (about 20% of the days each), but the spatial pattern of impacts show differences resulting from the interactions of the general flow with the complex orography of the region. The largest impact of CSs occurs in and around the southern South China Sea as a result of increased low-level convergence on the windward side of the terrain and increased shear vorticity off Borneo that enhances the Borneo vortex. The largest impact of the MJO is in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, sheltered from CSs by Sumatra. In general CSs are significantly more likely to trigger extreme rainfall. When both systems are present, the rainfall pattern is mainly controlled by the CSs. However, the MJO makes the environment more favorable for convection by moistening the atmosphere and facilitating conditional instability, resulting in a significant increased rainfall response compared to CSs alone. In addition to the interactions of the two systems in convection, this study confirms a previously identified mechanism in which the MJO may reduce CS frequency through opposing dynamic structures.

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John l. Mcbride
,
Sandeep Sahany
,
Muhammad E. E. Hassim
,
Chi Mai Nguyen
,
See-Yee Lim
,
Raizan Rahmat
, and
Wee-Kiong Cheong
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Prince Xavier
,
See Yee Lim
,
Muhammad Firdaus Ammar Bin Abdullah
,
Michael Bala
,
Sheeba Nettukandy Chenoli
,
Asteria S. Handayani
,
Charline Marzin
,
Donaldi Permana
,
Fredolin Tangang
,
Keith D. Williams
, and
Diong Jeong Yik

Abstract

Northeasterly cold surges strongly influence the rainfall patterns over the Malay Peninsula during the northeast monsoon season. This study looks at the changes in the cold surges and Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) characteristics through the northeast monsoon season and their interaction. Nearly 75% of the cold surge events tend to cross the equator around the Java Sea area (100°–110°E) in February–March with drier conditions prevailing over the Malay Peninsula and increased rainfall over Java. Both the cold surges and the MJO undergo seasonal variations with well-defined regional features. Wavelet analysis shows that MJO amplitude and high-frequency rainfall variations over Southeast Asia peak in November–December. MJO amplitude is suppressed during February and March. This is linked to the high-frequency surges of meridional winds that are prominent during the early part of the season, but February–March is dominated by low-frequency (~20–90 days) cross-equatorial monsoon flow. These prolonged periods of strong meridional flow at the equator interact with the MJO both dynamically and thermodynamically and act as a barrier for convection from propagating from the Indian Ocean to the Maritime Continent (MC). These interactions may have implications for weather and seasonal forecasting over the region. An evaluation of the properties of cold surges and their interaction with the seasonal cycle in the Met Office Unified Model is performed. The atmosphere–ocean coupled model performs better in representing the pattern of influence of the cold surges despite the biases in intensity and spatial distribution of rainfall extremes. These diagnostics are presented with the aim of developing a set of model evaluation metrics for global and regional models.

Open access