Large-scale control of the Arabian Sea monsoon inversion in August

Abstract

The summer monsoon inversion in the Arabian Sea is characterized by a large amount of low clouds and August as the peak season. Atmospheric stratification associated with the monsoon inversion has been considered a local system influenced by the advancement of the India–Pakistan monsoon. Empirical and numerical evidence from this study suggests that the Arabian Sea monsoon inversion is linked to a broader-scale monsoon evolution across the African Sahel, South Asia, and East Asia–Western North Pacific (WNP), rather than being a mere byproduct of the India–Pakistan monsoon progression. In August, the upper-tropospheric anticyclone in South Asia extends sideways corresponding with the enhanced precipitation in the subtropical WNP, equatorial Indian Ocean, and African Sahel while the middle part of this anticyclone weakens over the Arabian Sea. The increased heating in the adjacent monsoon systems creates a suppression effect on the Arabian Sea, suggesting an apparent competition among the Africa–Asia–WNP monsoon subsystems. The peak Sahel rainfall in August, together with enhanced heating in the equatorial Indian Ocean, produces a critical effect on strengthening the Arabian Sea thermal inversion. By contrast, the WNP monsoon onset which signifies the eastward expansion of the subtropical Asian monsoon heating might play a secondary or opposite role in the Arabian Sea monsoon inversion.

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  1. 1.

    The strength of the Somali jet is defined as the square root of a kinetic energy of 850-hPa horizontal wind averaged over the region (50°E–70°E, 5°S–20°N), as reported by Boos and Emanuel (2009).

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Consortium for Climate Change Study Phase II (CCliCS-II) under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan, under grant MOST 105-2119-M-001-018-. CHW was also supported by MOST 105-2119-M-001-021- and 106-2111-M-001-004-. We are grateful for the model SPEEDY from the ICTP and the datasets available from the NCEP, ISCCP, and CloudSat. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

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Wu, C., Wang, S.S. & Hsu, H. Large-scale control of the Arabian Sea monsoon inversion in August. Clim Dyn 51, 2581–2592 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-017-4029-7

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Keywords

  • African Sahel
  • Arabian Sea
  • Low clouds
  • Monsoon inversion
  • Western North Pacific