Summer monsoon circulation and precipitation over the tropical Indian Ocean during ENSO in the NCEP climate forecast system

Chowdary, J.; Chaudhari, H.; Gnanaseelan, C.; Parekh, Anant; Suryachandra Rao, A.; Sreenivas, P.; Pokhrel, S.; Singh, P.
April 2014
Climate Dynamics;Apr2014, Vol. 42 Issue 7/8, p1925
Academic Journal
This study investigates the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections to tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) and their relationship with the Indian summer monsoon in the coupled general circulation model climate forecast system (CFS). The model shows good skill in simulating the impact of El Niño over the Indian Oceanic rim during its decay phase (the summer following peak phase of El Niño). Summer surface circulation patterns during the developing phase of El Niño are more influenced by local Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies in the model unlike in observations. Eastern TIO cooling similar to that of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a dominant model feature in summer. This anomalous SST pattern therefore is attributed to the tendency of the model to simulate more frequent IOD events. On the other hand, in the model baroclinic response to the diabatic heating anomalies induced by the El Niño related warm SSTs is weak, resulting in reduced zonal extension of the Rossby wave response. This is mostly due to weak eastern Pacific summer time SST anomalies in the model during the developing phase of El Niño as compared to observations. Both eastern TIO cooling and weak SST warming in El Niño region combined together undermine the ENSO teleconnections to the TIO and south Asia regions. The model is able to capture the spatial patterns of SST, circulation and precipitation well during the decay phase of El Niño over the Indo-western Pacific including the typical spring asymmetric mode and summer basin-wide warming in TIO. The model simulated El Niño decay one or two seasons later, resulting long persistent warm SST and circulation anomalies mainly over the southwest TIO. In response to the late decay of El Niño, Ekman pumping shows two maxima over the southern TIO. In conjunction with this unrealistic Ekman pumping, westward propagating Rossby waves display two peaks, which play key role in the long-persistence of the TIO warming in the model (for more than a season after summer). This study strongly supports the need of simulating the correct onset and decay phases of El Niño/La Niña for capturing the realistic ENSO teleconnections. These results have strong implications for the forecasting of Indian summer monsoon as this model is currently being adopted as an operational model in India.


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