The annual cycle, intraseasonal oscillations, and roadblock to seasonal predictability of the Asian summer monsoon

Goswami, Bhupendra Nath ; Wu, Guoxiong ; Yasunari, T. (2006) The annual cycle, intraseasonal oscillations, and roadblock to seasonal predictability of the Asian summer monsoon Journal of Climate, 19 (20). pp. 5078-5099. ISSN 0894-8755

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Factors responsible for limited predictability of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) are investigated within a conceptual framework for predictability. Predictability of the seasonal mean depends on the interannual variability (IAV) of the monsoon annual cycle (MAC) and is determined by relative contribution of the predictable "external" component of IAV compared to the unpredictable "internal" IAV. Contributions of slow processes such as those involving air-sea interactions associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or local warm ocean-atmosphere interactions in generating IAV of the MAC are reviewed. Empirical evidence that these air-sea interactions modulate the MAC is presented. Estimates of internal IAV have been made from observations as well as atmospheric model simulations. In contrast to a large part of the Tropics where the summer climate is predictable, with the internal variability being much smaller than the external one, the limited predictability of the Asian monsoon appears to be due to the fact that the contribution from the external IAV over the region is relatively weak and comparable to that from internal IAV. Cause for large internal IAV over the ASM region is investigated, and it is proposed that the internal IAV of the MAC is primarily due to interaction between the MAC and the summer intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs). Two mechanisms through which ISOs lead to internal IAV of the MAC are unraveled. The seasonal bias of the ISO anomalies can influence the seasonal mean if the spatial structure of the ISO has significant projection on that of the seasonal mean and if frequency of occurrence of positive and negative phases is unequal. Evidence supporting this is presented. In addition, it is demonstrated that the chaotic summer ISOs modulated by the annually varying forcing associated with the "slow annual cycle" can lead to IAV of the seasonal mean. Empirical evidence that IAV of ISO activity is related to IAV of the seasonal mean or MAC is also presented. Thus, the Asian monsoon would remain a difficult system to predict. To exploit the predictable signal, however, it is imperative that systematic bias of the models is improved and the space-time structure of the summer ISOs is simulated accurately.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Meteorological Society.
Keywords:Oscillations; Climate Prediction; Variational Studies; Monsoons; Seasonal Variability
ID Code:23786
Deposited On:01 Dec 2010 13:08
Last Modified:17 May 2016 07:35

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