Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 120, Issue 1–2, pp 53–60 | Cite as

Sensitivity study on the role of Western Ghats in simulating the Asian summer monsoon characteristics

  • S. SijikumarEmail author
  • Liji John
  • K. Manjusha
Original Paper


The Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (AR-WRF) model is used to study the influence of Western Ghats situated along the west cost of peninsular India in the mean characteristics of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) through numerical simulations. A control simulation (CTRL) is carried out using 11-year (2000–2010) mean initial and lateral boundary conditions from the ERA-Interim reanalysis to simulate the mean atmospheric features of the ASM. The Modern-Era retrospective analysis for research and applications (MERRA) data along with the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM, 3B42 daily rainfall) data are used to validate the CTRL simulation. The simulated dynamical features and precipitation characteristics during the ASM period agree well with the MERRA reanalysis and TRMM observations. In order to examine the role of Western Ghats on the mean characteristics of the ASM, a sensitivity simulation (NoWG) is carried out with orography reduced to surface over a domain bound between 5°–28°N and 72°–90°E, keeping all other conditions unchanged. This sensitivity analysis showed an enhancement in the low level monsoon flow over the Indian Ocean and peninsular India in the absence of Western Ghats. The prominent up-draft over the west coast of peninsular India observed in the CTRL simulation also decrease in the absence of Western Ghats. The simulated rainfall show a considerable decrease over the west coast and an enhancement over the east coast of peninsular India in the absence of Western Ghats. These simulations clearly depict the importance of Western Ghats in the circulation dynamics and rainfall features during the ASM period.


Asian summer monsoon Orography Regional climate model 



Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) and the GES DISC for the dissemination of MERRA data. The ECMWF data portal for obtaining ERA-Interim data. The authors are thankful to the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Physics LaboratoryVikram Sarabhai Space CentreTrivandrumIndia
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of KeralaTrivandrumIndia

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