Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 173, Issue 6, pp 2167–2193 | Cite as

South Asian Summer Monsoon Rainfall Variability and Trend: Its Links to Indo-Pacific SST Anomalies and Moist Processes

  • V. Prasanna


The warm (cold) phase of El Niño (La Niña) and its impact on all Indian Summer Monsoon rainfall (AISMR) relationship is explored for the past 100 years. The 103-year (1901–2003) data from the twentieth century reanalysis datasets (20CR) and other major reanalysis datasets for southwest monsoon season (JJAS) is utilized to find out the simultaneous influence of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-AISMR relationship. Two cases such as wet, dry monsoon years associated with ENSO(+) (El Niño), ENSO(−) (La Niña) and Non-ENSO (neutral) events have been discussed in detail using observed rainfall and three-dimensional 20CR dataset. The dry and wet years associated with ENSO and Non-ENSO periods show significant differences in the spatial pattern of rainfall associated with three-dimensional atmospheric composite, the 20CR dataset has captured the anomalies quite well. During wet (dry) years, the rainfall is high (low), i.e. 10 % above (below) average from the long-term mean and this wet or dry condition occur both during ENSO and Non-ENSO phases. The Non-ENSO year dry or wet composites are also focused in detail to understand, where do the anomalous winds come from unlike in the ENSO case. The moisture transport is coherent with the changes in the spatial pattern of AISMR and large-scale feature in the 20CR dataset. Recent 50-year trend (1951–2000) is also analyzed from various available observational and reanalysis datasets to see the influence of Indo-Pacific SST and moist processes on the South Asian summer monsoon rainfall trend. Apart from the Indo-Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST), the moisture convergence and moisture transport among India (IND), Equatorial Indian Ocean (IOC) and tropical western pacific (WNP) is also important in modifying the wet or dry cycles over India. The mutual interaction among IOC, WNP and IND in seasonal timescales is significant in modifying wet and dry cycles over the Indian region and the seasonal anomalies.


All India summer monsoon rainfall (AISMR) El Niño La Niño moisture convergence wet year and dry year composites Walker and Hadley circulation Indian monsoon precipitation trend 



Author sincerely thanks Director Dr. Cheung Sung, APEC Climate Center (APCC), Busan for providing facilities to carry out this work. Author sincerely thanks the editor and anonymous reviewers for their encouraging comments. He also acknowledges many centers for providing datasets. The diagrams used for this study have been prepared using the free software packages like GrADS and XMGRACE and computational work done on free Intel Fortran compilers and the Linux operating system environment.


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© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Climate Research DepartmentAPEC Climate CenterBusanSouth Korea

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