Changing dynamical control of early Asian summer monsoon in the mid-1990s


The seasonal evolution of the upper tropospheric South Asian high follows and influences underlying summer monsoon advancement. A strong connection between the South Asian high and westerly perturbation to the north suggests further planetary-scale dynamical control of the monsoon. In the mid-1990s, a clear location shift of the South Asian high in May–June was noted and was observed in fewer (more) frequencies of the high centers over the Indochina Peninsula (Iranian Plateau). Continental confinement of monsoonal circulation and precipitation was observed during 1995–2010, as opposed to larger-scale development in the Asia–Pacific region during 1979–1994. In view of early-summer monsoon evolution, a westward shifting and faster migration of the South Asian high may imply increased control of the midlatitude dynamics. By contrast, the convection over the tropical Western North Pacific (WNP) has an opposite and delayed contribution to monsoon advancement. After the mid-1990s than it had been previously, the midlatitude jet stream largely weakened over northern Africa and the East Asia–Pacific region, corresponding to an increase in the upper tropospheric geopotential heights north of the jet stream. Climate model experiments further reveal that the warming over Europe–Asia and temperature change in the North Atlantic can result in the change in midlatitude perturbations and the monsoon evolution in the mid-1990s, suggesting large-scale and dynamic impact on monsoon climatology.

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This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan, under grants MOST 107-2119-M-001-013. The authors are grateful for the used CMIP5 models, the SPEEDY model provided by the ICTP, and the datasets available as addressed in Sect. 2. CHW would like to thank Prof. Ming-Dah Chou for useful discussions. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

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Correspondence to Chi-Hua Wu.

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Wu, C., Tsai, P. & Freychet, N. Changing dynamical control of early Asian summer monsoon in the mid-1990s. Clim Dyn 54, 85–98 (2020).

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  • Asian summer monsoon
  • Decadal change
  • Monsoon dynamics
  • Monsoon-midlatitude interaction
  • South Asian high