Climate Dynamics

, Volume 50, Issue 11–12, pp 4583–4598 | Cite as

Time evolution of atmospheric parameters and their influence on sea level pressure over the head Bay of Bengal

  • Anindita Patra
  • Prasad K. Bhaskaran
  • Felix Jose


A zonal dipole in the observed trends of wind speed and significant wave height over the Head Bay of Bengal region was recently reported in the literature attributed due to the variations in sea level pressure (SLP). The SLP in turn is governed by prevailing atmospheric conditions such as local temperature, humidity, rainfall, atmospheric pressure, wind field distribution, formation of tropical cyclones, etc. The present study attempts to investigate the inter-annual variability of atmospheric parameters and its role on the observed zonal dipole trend in sea level pressure, surface wind speed and significant wave height. It reports on the aspects related to linear trend as well as its spatial variability for several atmospheric parameters: air temperature, geopotential height, omega (vertical velocity), and zonal wind, over the head Bay of Bengal, by analyzing National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Reanalysis 2 dataset covering a period of 38 years (1979–2016). Significant warming from sea level to 200 mb pressure level and thereafter cooling above has been noticed during all the seasons. Warming within the troposphere exhibits spatial difference between eastern and western side of the domain. This led to fall in lower tropospheric geopotential height and its east–west variability, exhibiting a zonal dipole pattern across the Head Bay. In the upper troposphere, uplift in geopotential height was found as a result of cooling in higher levels (10–100 mb). Variability in omega also substantiated the observed variations in geopotential height. The study also finds weakening in the upper level westerlies and easterlies. Interestingly, a linear trend in lower tropospheric u-wind component also reveals an east–west dipole pattern over the study region. Further, the study corroborates the reported dipole in trends of sea level pressure, wind speed and significant wave height by evaluating the influence of atmospheric variability on these parameters.


Air pressure Climate Atmosphere Ocean Sea level pressure Bay of Bengal 



The authors sincerely thank the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India for the financial support. This study is conducted as a part of the Mega Project “Future of Cities” under the module ‘Effect of Climate change on local sea level rise and its impact on coastal areas: Kolkata region as a pilot study’ supported by MHRD at IIT Kharagpur. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for their critical comments and suggestion that improved the overall scientific quality of this article.

Supplementary material

382_2017_3892_MOESM1_ESM.jpeg (5.3 mb)
Figure-S1: Linear trend (shaded) and climatology (black lines) of u wind (m) at 100 mb for monsoon season during 1992-2012. Significant trends at 95% level are indicated by dots. (JPEG 5438 KB)
382_2017_3892_MOESM2_ESM.jpeg (3 mb)
Figure-S2: Longitude-height cross sections of streamlines (u; -omega*200) at 20°N during monsoon: (a) 1992, (b) 1997, and (c) 2012. (JPEG 3089 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anindita Patra
    • 1
  • Prasad K. Bhaskaran
    • 1
  • Felix Jose
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ocean Engineering and Naval ArchitectureIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Marine and Ecological SciencesFlorida Gulf Coast UniversityFort MyersUSA

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