Climate Dynamics

, Volume 39, Issue 7–8, pp 1643–1660 | Cite as

IOD influence on the early winter tibetan plateau snow cover: diagnostic analyses and an AGCM simulation



Using diagnostic analyses and an AGCM simulation, the detailed mechanism of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) influence on the early winter Tibetan Plateau snow cover (EWTPSC) is clarified. In early winter of pure positive IOD years with no co-occurrence of El Niño, the anomalous dipole diabatic heating over the tropical Indian Ocean excites the baroclinic response in the tropics. Since both baroclinic and barotropic components of the basic zonal wind over the Arabian Peninsula increase dramatically in early winter due to the equatorward retreat of the westerly jet, the baroclinic mode excites the barotropic Rossby wave that propagates northeastward and induces a barotropic cyclonic anomaly north of India. This enables the moisture transport cyclonically from the northern Indian Ocean toward the Tibetan Plateau. The convergence of moisture over the plateau explains the positive influence of IOD on the EWTPSC. In contrast, the basic zonal wind over the Arabian Peninsula is weak in autumn. This is not favorable for excitation of the barotropic Rossby wave and teleconnection, even though the IOD-related diabatic heating anomaly in autumn similar to that in early winter exists. This result explains the insignificant (significant positive) partial correlation between IOD and the autumn (early winter) Tibetan Plateau snow cover after excluding the influence of ENSO. The sensitivity experiment forced by the IOD-related SST anomaly within the tropical Indian Ocean well reproduces the baroclinic response in the tropics, the teleconnection from the Arabian Peninsula, and the increased moisture supply to the Tibetan Plateau. Also, the seasonality of the atmospheric response to the IOD is simulated.


Indian Ocean Dipole Winter Tibetan Plateau snow cover Wave-activity flux Ray tracing Teleconnection Barotropic mode Baroclinic mode AGCM simulation 



We thank Drs. H. Nakamura, T. Hibiya, Y. Masumoto, and I. Yasuda for fruitful discussions. The present research is supported by the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) through Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 20340125 and Sumitomo Foundation. The first author has been supported by the Research Fellowship of JSPS for Young Scientists.


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© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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