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On the Maximum Cloud Zone and the ITCZ over Indian Longitudes during the Southwest Monsoon

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  • 1 Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India
  • | 2 Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
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Abstract

An investigation is presented of the daily variation of the maximum cloud zone (MCZ) and the 7W mb trough in the Northern Hemisphere over the Indian longitudes 70–90°E during April–October for 1973–77. It is found that during June–September there are two favorable locations for a MCZ over these longitudes–on a majority of days the MCZ is present in the monsoon zone north of 15°N, and often a secondary MCZ occurs in the equatorial region (0–10°N). The monsoon MCZ gets established by northward movement of the MCZ occurring over the equatorial Indian ocean in April and May. The secondary MCZ appears intermittently, and is characterized by long spells of persistence only when the monsoon MCZ is absent. In each of the seasons studied, the MCZ temporarily disappeared from the mean summer monsoon location (15–28°N) about four weeks after it was established near the beginning of July. It is reestablished by the northward movement of the secondary MCZ, which becomes active during the absence of the monsoon MCZ, in a manner strikingly similar to that observed in the spring to summer transition. A break in monsoon conditions prevails just prior to the temporary disappearance of the monsoon MCZ. Thus we conclude that the monsoon MCZ cannot survive for longer than a month without reestablishment by the secondary MCZ. Possible underlying mechanisms are also discussed.

Abstract

An investigation is presented of the daily variation of the maximum cloud zone (MCZ) and the 7W mb trough in the Northern Hemisphere over the Indian longitudes 70–90°E during April–October for 1973–77. It is found that during June–September there are two favorable locations for a MCZ over these longitudes–on a majority of days the MCZ is present in the monsoon zone north of 15°N, and often a secondary MCZ occurs in the equatorial region (0–10°N). The monsoon MCZ gets established by northward movement of the MCZ occurring over the equatorial Indian ocean in April and May. The secondary MCZ appears intermittently, and is characterized by long spells of persistence only when the monsoon MCZ is absent. In each of the seasons studied, the MCZ temporarily disappeared from the mean summer monsoon location (15–28°N) about four weeks after it was established near the beginning of July. It is reestablished by the northward movement of the secondary MCZ, which becomes active during the absence of the monsoon MCZ, in a manner strikingly similar to that observed in the spring to summer transition. A break in monsoon conditions prevails just prior to the temporary disappearance of the monsoon MCZ. Thus we conclude that the monsoon MCZ cannot survive for longer than a month without reestablishment by the secondary MCZ. Possible underlying mechanisms are also discussed.

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