Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 678–694 | Cite as

Contrast of Evolution Characteristics of Boreal Summer and Winter Intraseasonal Oscillations over Tropical Indian Ocean

  • Qingchi Zhang
  • Tim LiEmail author
  • Jia Liu
Regular Article


A most striking summer—winter difference of evolution of the intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) over the equatorial Indian Ocean is a quasi-stationary oscillation in boreal summer but eastward propagation in boreal winter. This feature is consistent with the observational fact that maximum ISO variance appears only in the eastern Indian Ocean in boreal summer while it appears across the entire basin in boreal winter. The cause of the distinctive propagation and initiation characteristics is investigated through the diagnosis of observational and reanalysis data for the period of 1982–2012. It is found that when the ISO convection appears over eastern Indian Ocean, a positive (negative) moisture tendency appears to the east of the convection in boreal winter (summer). It is the moisture tendency difference that is responsible for different propagation behavior in the summer and winter. A further diagnosis of the moisture budget indicates that the major difference lies in anomalous moisture advection by the mean flow. In addition, air-sea interaction also plays a role. While boreal winter ISO starts over western Indian Ocean, boreal summer ISO is initiated over central-eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, due to boundary layer moistening. The moisture increase is caused primarily by the horizontal advection of mean specific humidity by anomalous easterlies induced by preceding suppressed-phase ISO over eastern Indian Ocean. Besides, a delayed SST feedback also plays a role. The overall difference of ISO evolution between the summer and winter is regulated by the seasonal mean state including the mean SST and water vapor content.

Key words

intraseasonal oscillation seasonality convection initiation and propagation planetary boundary layer moistening air-sea interaction 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME)/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change (ILCEC)ICollaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)Nanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.International Pacific Research Center and Department of Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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