Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 5–6, pp 1257–1269 | Cite as

Impact of Indian summer monsoon on the South Asian High and its influence on summer rainfall over China

  • Wei Wei
  • Renhe ZhangEmail author
  • Min Wen
  • Xinyao Rong
  • Tim Li


By using the monthly ERA-40 reanalysis data and observed rainfall data, we investigated the effect of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) on the South Asian High (SAH) at 200 hPa, and the role played by the SAH in summer rainfall variation over China. It is found that in the interannual timescale the east–west shift is a prominent feature of the SAH, with its center either over the Iranian Plateau or over the Tibetan Plateau. When the ISM is stronger (weaker) than normal, the SAH shifts westward (eastward) to the Iranian Plateau (Tibetan Plateau). The east–west position of SAH has close relation to the summer rainfall over China. A westward (eastward) location of SAH corresponds to less (more) rainfall in the Yangtze-Huai River Valley and more (less) rainfall in North China and South China. A possible physical process that the ISM affects the summer rainfall over China via the SAH is proposed. A stronger (weaker) ISM associated with more (less) rainfall over India corresponds to more (less) condensation heat release and anomalous heating (cooling) in the upper troposphere over the northern Indian peninsula. The anomalous heating (cooling) stimulates positive (negative) height anomalies to its northwest and negative (positive) height anomalies to its northeast in the upper troposphere, causing a westward (eastward) shift of the SAH with its center over the Iranian Plateau (Tibetan Plateau). As a result, an anomalous cyclone (anticyclone) is formed over the eastern Tibetan Plateau and eastern China in the upper troposphere. The anomalous vertical motions in association with the circulation anomalies are responsible for the rainfall anomalies over China. Our present study reveals that the SAH may play an important role in the effect of ISM on the East Asian summer monsoon.


South Asian High Indian summer monsoon East Asian summer monsoon Summer rainfall over China 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. This study was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 41221064, the International S&T Cooperation Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China under Grant 2009DFA21430, and the Basic Scientific Research and Operation Foundation of the CAMS under Grant 2013Z004.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Wei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Renhe Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Min Wen
    • 1
  • Xinyao Rong
    • 1
  • Tim Li
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Severe WeatherChinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.International Pacific Research CenterUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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