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Coupled simulations of the Indian monsoon intraseasonal oscillation using a fine-resolution mixed-layer ocean model

Klingaman, N. P., Weller, H., Woolnough, S. J., Inness, P. M. and Slingo, J. M. (2009) Coupled simulations of the Indian monsoon intraseasonal oscillation using a fine-resolution mixed-layer ocean model. Proceedings of the ECMWF Workshop on Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction. pp. 195-205.

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Abstract/Summary

The intraseasonal variability (ISV) of the Indian summer monsoon is dominated by a 30–50 day oscillation between “active” and “break” events of enhanced and reduced rainfall over the subcontinent, respectively. These organized convective events form in the equatorial Indian Ocean and propagate north to India. Atmosphere–ocean coupled processes are thought to play a key role the intensity and propagation of these events. A high-resolution, coupled atmosphere–mixed-layer-oceanmodel is assembled: HadKPP. HadKPP comprises the Hadley Centre Atmospheric Model (HadAM3) and the K Profile Parameterization (KPP) mixed-layer ocean model. Following studies that upper-ocean vertical resolution and sub-diurnal coupling frequencies improve the simulation of ISV in SSTs, KPP is run at 1 m vertical resolution near the surface; the atmosphere and ocean are coupled every three hours. HadKPP accurately simulates the 30–50 day ISV in rainfall and SSTs over India and the Bay of Bengal, respectively, but suffers from low ISV on the equator. This is due to the HadAM3 convection scheme producing limited ISV in surface fluxes. HadKPP demonstrates little of the observed northward propagation of intraseasonal events, producing instead a standing oscillation. The lack of equatorial ISV in convection in HadAM3 constrains the ability of KPP to produce equatorial SST anomalies, which further weakens the ISV of convection. It is concluded that while atmosphere–ocean interactions are undoubtedly essential to an accurate simulation of ISV, they are not a panacea for model deficiencies. In regions where the atmospheric forcing is adequate, such as the Bay of Bengal, KPP produces SST anomalies that are comparable to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager (TMI) SST analyses in both their magnitude and their timing with respect to rainfall anomalies over India. HadKPP also displays a much-improved phase relationship between rainfall and SSTs over a HadAM3 ensemble forced by observed SSTs, when both are compared to observations. Coupling to mixed-layer models such as KPP has the potential to improve operational predictions of ISV, particularly when the persistence time of SST anomalies is shorter than the forecast lead time.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:No
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:4323
Additional Information:Workshop on Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions, 10-12 November 2008
Publisher:ECMWF

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