Natural Hazards

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 101–115

Impact of Southern Oscillation on the Frequency of Monsoon Depressions in the Bay of Bengal


  • O. P. Singh
    • SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC)
  • Tariq Masood Ali Khan
    • SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC)
  • Md. Sazedur Rahman
    • SAARC Meteorological Research Centre (SMRC)

DOI: 10.1023/A:1013736923929

Cite this article as:
Singh, O.P., Ali Khan, T.M. & Rahman, M.S. Natural Hazards (2002) 25: 101. doi:10.1023/A:1013736923929


The impact of Southern Oscillation on thecyclogenesis over the Bay of Bengal duringthe summer monsoon has been investigated.The analysis of correlation coefficients(CCs) between the frequency of monsoondepressions and the Southern OscillationIndex (SOI) reveals that more depressionsform during July and August of El Niñoyears. Due to this, the seasonal frequencyof monsoon depressions remains little higherduring El Niño epochs even though thecorrelations for June and September are notsignificant. The CCs for July and August aresignificant at the 99% level.

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)is known to affect Indian MonsoonRainfall (IMR) adversely. The enhancedcyclogenesis over the Bay of Bengal duringJuly and August is an impact of ENSO whichneeds to be examined closely. Increasedcyclogenesis over the Bay of Bengal may bereducing the deficiency in IMR duringEl Niño years by producing more rainfallover the eastern parts of India duringJuly and August. Thus there is a considerablespatial variation in the impact of ENSOon the monsoon rainfall over India and El Niñoneed not necessarily imply a monsoonfailure everywhere in India.

The area of formation of monsoon depressionsshifts eastward during El Niño years.Warmer sea surface temperature (SST) anomaliesprevail over northwest and adjoiningwestcentral Bay of Bengal during premonsoon andmonsoon seasons of El Niño years.May minus March SOI can provide useful predictionsof monsoon depression frequencyduring July and August.

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Monsoon Depression Summer Monsoon Correlation Coefficient (CC) Cyclogenesis La Niña Standardized Anomaly Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI)

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002