Climate Dynamics

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 651–667 | Cite as

Boreal summer intraseasonal oscillations and seasonal Indian monsoon prediction in DEMETER coupled models

  • Susmitha Joseph
  • A. K. SahaiEmail author
  • B. N. Goswami


Even though multi-model prediction systems may have better skill in predicting the interannual variability (IAV) of Indian summer monsoon (ISM), the overall performance of the system is limited by the skill of individual models (single model ensembles). The DEMETER project aimed at seasonal-to-interannual prediction is not an exception to this case. The reasons for the poor skill of the DEMETER individual models in predicting the IAV of monsoon is examined in the context of the influence of external and internal components and the interaction between intraseasonal variability (ISV) and IAV. Recently it has been shown that the ISV influences the IAV through very long breaks (VLBs; breaks with duration of more than 10 days) by generating droughts. Further, all VLBs are associated with an eastward propagating Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) in the equatorial region, facilitated by air–sea interaction on intraseasonal timescales. This VLB-drought–MJO relationship is analyzed here in detail in the DEMETER models. Analyses indicate that the VLB-drought relationship is poorly captured by almost all the models. VLBs in observations are generated through air–sea interaction on intraseasonal time scale and the models’ inability to simulate VLB-drought relationship is shown to be linked to the models’ inability to represent the air–sea interaction on intraseasonal time scale. Identification of this particular deficiency of the models provides a direction for improvement of the model for monsoon prediction.


Indian summer monsoon Interannual variability Intraseasonal variability ENSO Air–sea interaction 



Susmitha Joseph acknowledges the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India for financial support. We also thank INDO-FRENCH project (Project No. 3907/1) for support and Dr. Prince K. Xavier of LMD/CNRS and Peter McLean of UK Met Office for making available the SST datasets from DEMETER project. We are also thankful to the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable, in-depth and constructive comments, which helped considerably in improving the scientific content of the present study. IITM is funded by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Climate and Global Modeling DivisionIndian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia

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