Climate Dynamics

, Volume 48, Issue 11–12, pp 4081–4091 | Cite as

Anomalous convective activity over sub-tropical east Pacific during 2015 and associated boreal summer monsoon teleconnections

  • Milind MujumdarEmail author
  • K. P. Sooraj
  • R. Krishnan
  • B. Preethi
  • Manish K. Joshi
  • Hamza Varikoden
  • Bhupendra B. Singh
  • M. Rajeevan


The eastern Pacific Ocean received a record highest number of sub-tropical convective activities during boreal summer (June–September) of 2015, since last four decades. The associated rainfall distribution was also atypical with anomalously enhanced rainfall extending from equator to sub-tropical central-eastern Pacific. The present analysis reveals a pronounced meridional sea surface temperature (SST) gradient across central-eastern Pacific, with the mean SST exceeding 28 °C over sub-tropical north Pacific, setting up favorable conditions for these enhanced convective activities. It is found that these anomalous features promoted northward spanning of westerly anomalies and drastically modified the east–west circulation over sub-tropical north Pacific. This seems to induce large-scale subsidence over the off-equatorial monsoon regions of south and south-east Asia, thus constituting an east–west asymmetry over sub-tropical Indo-Pacific region. Based on our observational study, it can be concluded that the sub-tropical convective activities over east Pacific may play a pivotal role in mediating the Pacific-monsoon teleconnection through the unexplored meridional SST gradient across Pacific.


East Pacific storms Sub-tropical east–west asymmetry Meridional SST gradient Pacific-monsoon teleconnection 



The authors thank three anonymous reviewers for the constructive comments. The authors acknowledge discussions with Dr. Harry Hendon, BOM, Melbourne, Australia. Dr. P. Terray is also acknowledged for his code on testing statistical significance and valuable suggestions. The CCCR, IITM is fully funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Govt. of India.

Supplementary material

382_2016_3321_MOESM1_ESM.doc (530 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 530 kb)


  1. Ashok K, Guan Z, Saji NH, Yamagata T (2004) Individual and combined influences of ENSO and the Indian Ocean Dipole on the Indian summer monsoon. J Clim 17:3141–3155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashok K, Behera SK, Rao SA, Weng H, Yamagata T (2007) El-Niño Modoki and its possible teleconnections. J Geophys Res 112:C11007. doi: 10.1029/2006JC003798 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashok K, Sabin TP, Swapna P, Murtugudde RG (2012) Is a global warming signature emerging in the tropical Pacific? Geophys Res Lett 39:L02701. doi: 10.1029/2011GL050232 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chang HR, Webster PJ (1990) Energy accumulation and emanation at low latitudes. Part II: nonlinear response to strong episodic forcing. J Atmos Sci 47:2624–2644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen G, Tam CY (2010) Different impact of two kinds of Pacific Ocean warming on tropical cyclone frequency over western North Pacific. Geophys Res Lett 37:L01803. doi: 10.1029/2009GL041708 Google Scholar
  6. Deser C, Wallace JM (1990) Large-scale atmospheric circulation features of warm and cold episodes in the tropical Pacific. J Clim 3:1254–1281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fasullo J, Webster PJ (2002) Hydrological signatures relating the Asian summer monsoon and ENSO. J Clim 15:3082–3095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gill AE (1980) Some simple solutions for heat-induced tropical circulation. Q J R Meteorol Soc 106:447–462. doi: 10.1002/qj.49710644905 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hamza V, Singh BB, Sooraj KP, Joshi MK, Preethi B, Mujumdar M, Rajeevan M (2015) Chapter 1-large scale features of southwest monsoon during 2015. In: Mujumdar M, Gnanaseelan C, Rajeevan M (eds) Research report: the 2015 southwest monsoon RR-185, IITM, pp 2–13.
  10. Hoskins BJ, Karoly DJ (1981) The steady linear response of a spherical atmosphere to thermal and orographic forcing. J Atmos Sci 38:1179–1196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Huffman GJ, Adler RF, Bolvin DT, Gu G (2009) Improving the global precipitation record: GPCP version 2.1. Geophys Res Lett. doi: 10.1029/2009GL040000 Google Scholar
  12. Jadhav J, Swapna P, Marathe S, Ashok K (2015) On the possible cause of distinct El Niño types in the recent decades. Sci Rep 5:17009. doi: 10.1038/srep17009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Joseph PV, Sabin TP (2008) An ocean-atmosphere interaction mechanism for the active break cycle of the Asian summer monsoon. Clim Dyn 30:553–566. doi: 10.1007/s00382-007-0305-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Joseph PV, Srinivasan J (1999) Rossby waves in May and the Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Tellus A 51:854–864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ju J, Slingo JM (1995) The Asian summer monsoon and ENSO. Q J R Meteorol Soc 121:1133–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R, Collins W, Deaven D, Gandin L, Iredell M, Saha S, White G, Woollen J, Zhu Y (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77(3):437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kanamitsu M, Krishnamurti TN (1978) Northern summer tropical circulations during drought and normal rainfall months. Mon Weather Rev 106:331–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keshavamurty RN (1982) Response of the atmosphere to sea surface temperature anomalies over the equatorial Pacific and the teleconnections of the southern oscillation. J Atmos Sci 39:1241–1259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Krishnamurthy V, Goswami BN (2000) Indian monsoon-ENSO relationship on interdecadal timescale. J Clim 13:579–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Krishnan R, Mujumdar M (1999) Remotely and regionally forced pre-monsoon signals over northern India and neighbourhood. Q J R Meteorol Soc 125:55–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Krishnan R, Venkatesan C, Keshavamurti RN (1998) Dynamics of upper tropospheric stationary wave anomalies induced by ENSO during the northern summer: a GCM study. Proc Indian Acad Sci (Earth Planet Sci) 107:65–90Google Scholar
  22. Kumar V, Krishnan R (2005) On the association between the Indian summer monsoon and the tropical cyclone activity over the Northwest Pacific. Curr Sci 88:602–612Google Scholar
  23. Kumar K, Rajagopalan B, Cane MA (1999) On the weakening relationship between the Indian monsoon and ENSO. Science 284(5423):2156–2159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lau KM, Lim H (1984) On the dynamics of equatorial forcing of climate teleconnections. J Atmos Sci 41:161–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lau N-C, Nath MJ (2000) Impact of ENSO on the variability of the Asian-Australian monsoons as simulated in GCM experiments. J Clim 13:4287–4309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lau NG, Wang B (2006) Interaction between the Asian monsoon and El Niño/southern oscillation. In: wang B (ed) The Asian monsoon. Praxis, New York, pp 479–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li T, Wang B (2005) A review on the western North Pacific monsoon: Synoptic-to-inter annual variabilities. Terr Atmos Ocean Sci 16:285–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lindzen RS, Nigam S (1987) On the role of sea surface temperature gradients in forcing low-level winds and convergence in the tropics. J Atmos Sci 44:2418–2436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marshall AG, Hendon HH, Wang G (2016) On the role of anomalous ocean surface temperatures for promoting the record Madden-Julian oscillation in March 2015. Geophys Res Lett 43:472–481. doi: 10.1002/2015GL066984 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Matsuno T (1966) Quasi-geostrophic motions in the equatorial area. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 44:25–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mujumdar M, Kumar V, Krishnan R (2007) The Indian summer monsoon drought of 2002 and its linkage with tropical convective activity over northwest Pacific. Clim Dyn 28(7–8):743–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mujumdar M, Preethi B, Sabin TP, Ashok K, Saeed S, Pai DS, Krishnan R (2012) The Asian summer monsoon response to the La Nina event of 2010. Meteorol Appl 19:216–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Noreen EW (1989) Computer-intensive methods for testing hypotheses: an introduction. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Pant GB, Parthasarathy B (1981) Some aspects of an association between the southern oscillation and Indian summer monsoon. Arch Meteorol, Geophys Bioklimatol, Ser B 29:245–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pradhan PK, Preethi B, Ashok K, Krishnan R, Sahai AK (2011) Modoki, Indian Ocean dipole, and western North Pacific typhoons: possible implications for extreme events. J Geophys Res 116:D18108. doi: 10.1029/2011JD015666 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rasmussen EM, Carpenter TH (1983) The relationship between eastern equatorial Pacific SSTs and rainfall over India and Sri Lanka. Mon Weather Rev 111:517–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ratnam JV, Behera SK, Masumoto Y, Takahashi K, Yamagata T (2010) Pacific Ocean origin for the 2009 Indian summer monsoon failure. Geophys Res Lett. doi: 10.1029/2010GL042798 Google Scholar
  38. Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kent EC, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res Atmos. doi: 10.1029/2002JD002670 Google Scholar
  39. Reynolds RW, Rayner NA, Smith TM, Stokes DC, Wang W (2002) An improved in situ and satellite SST analysis for climate. J Clim 15:1609–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rodwell MJ, Hoskins BJ (2001) Subtropical anticyclones and summer monsoons. J Clim 14(15):3192–3211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Saji NH, Goswami BN, Vinayachandran PN, Yamagata T (1999) A dipole mode in the tropical Indian Ocean. Nature 401:360–363Google Scholar
  42. Sarkar S, Singh RP, Kafatos M (2004) Further evidences for the weakening relationship of Indian rainfall and ENSO over India. Geophys Res Lett 31:L13209. doi: 10.1029/2004GL020259 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shankar D, Shetye SR, Joseph PV (2007) Link between convection and meridional gradient of sea surface temperature in the Bay of Bengal. J Earth Syst Sci 116:385–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shukla J, Paolino DA (1983) The Southern Oscillation and long range forecasting of the summer monsoon rainfall over India. Mon Weather Rev 111:1830–1837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sikka DR (1980) Some aspects of the large-scale fluctuations of summer monsoon rainfall over India in relation to fluctuations in the planetary and regional scale circulation parameters. Proc Indian Acad Sci-Earth Planet Sci 89:179–195Google Scholar
  46. Sikka DR (1999) Monsoon drought in India. Joint COLA/CARE tech rep no. 2: Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies and Center for the Application of Research on the Environment, p 93Google Scholar
  47. Slingo JM, Annamalai H (2000) 1997: the El Niño of the century and the response of the Indian summer monsoon. Mon Weather Rev 128(6):1778–1797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Terray P, Dominiak S (2005) Indian Ocean sea surface temperature and El Niño-Southern Oscillation: a new perspective. J Clim 18:1351–1368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Terray P, Delecluse P, Labattu S, Terray L (2003) Sea surface temperature associations with the late Indian summer monsoon. Clim Dyn 21:593–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Terray P, Dominiak S, Delecluse P (2005) Role of the southern Indian Ocean in the transitions of the monsoon-ENSO system during recent decades. Clim Dyn 24:169–195. doi: 10.1007/s00382-004-0480-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Terray P, Masson S, Prodhomme C, Roxy MK, Sooraj KP (2016) Impacts of Indian and Atlantic Oceans on ENSO in a comprehensive modeling framework. Clim Dyn 46:2507–2533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Trenberth KE, Jones PD, Ambenje P, Bojariu R, Easterling D, Klein T, Parker D, Rahimzadeh F, Renwick JA, Rusticucci M, Soden B, Zhai P (2007) Observations: surface and atmospheric climate change. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. Troup AJ (1965) The ‘southern oscillation’. Q J R Meteorol Soc 91(390):490–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vecchi GA, Harrison DE (2002) Monsoon breaks and sub seasonal sea surface temperature variability in the Bay of Bengal. J Clim 15:1485–1493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Walker GT (1910) On the Meteorological evidence for supposed changes of climate in India. Mem India Meteorol Dep 21:1–21Google Scholar
  56. Walker GT (1914) The liability to drought in India as compared with that in other countries. Mem India Meteorol Dep 21:1–9Google Scholar
  57. Walker GT (1918) Correlation in seasonal variation of weather. Q J R Meteorol Soc 44:223–224Google Scholar
  58. Webster PJ, Magana VO, Palmer TN, Shukla J, Tomas RA, Yanai MU, Yasunari T (1998) Monsoons: processes, predictability, and the prospects for prediction. J Geophys Res Oceans 103(C7):14451–14510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Webster PJ, Moore AM, Loschnigg JP, Leben RR (1999) The great Indian Ocean warming of 1997–1998: evidence of coupled-atmospheric instabilities. Nature 401:356–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Weng H, Ashok K, Behera SK, Rao SA, Yamagata T (2007) Impacts of recent El Niño Modoki on dry/wet conditions in the Pacific rim during boreal summer. Clim Dyn 29:113–129. doi: 10.1007/s00382-007-0234-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xie S-P, Saiki N (1999) Abrupt onset and slow seasonal evolution of summer monsoon in an idealized GCM simulation. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 77:949–968CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yeh SW, Kug JS, Dewitte B, Kwon MH, Kirtman BP, Jin FF (2009) El-Niño in a changing climate. Nature 461:511–514. doi: 10.1038/nature08316 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milind Mujumdar
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. P. Sooraj
    • 1
  • R. Krishnan
    • 1
  • B. Preethi
    • 1
  • Manish K. Joshi
    • 1
  • Hamza Varikoden
    • 1
  • Bhupendra B. Singh
    • 1
  • M. Rajeevan
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR)Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM)PuneIndia
  2. 2.Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)New DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations