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South Asian Monsoon

BN, Goswami (2005) South Asian Monsoon. [Book Chapter]

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As the word "monsoon" (derived from an Arabic word meaning seasons) indicates, the South Asian (SA) summer monsoon is part of an annually reversing wind system (Figure 2.1(b, e) (Ramage, 1971; Rao, 1976)). The winds at low levels during the summer monsoon season are characterized by the strongest westerlies anywhere at 850hPa over the Arabian Sea, known as the low-level westerly jet (LLJ) (Figure 2.1e), and a large-scale cyclonic vorticity extending from the north Bay of Bengal (BoB) to western India known as the "monsoon trough" (Figure 2.1(e) (Rao, 1976)). The easterly jet (Figure 2.1(f)) centered around 5°N and the Tibetan anticyclone centered around 30°N are important features of upper level winds over the monsoon region during northern summer. Millions of inhabitants of the region, however, attach much greater importance to the associated seasonal changes of rainfall. Wet summers and dry winters (Figure 2.1 (a, d)) associated with the seasonal changes of low-level winds are crucial for agricultural production and the economy of the region. The monsoon, or the seasonal changes of winds and rainfall, in the region could be interpreted as a result of northward seasonal migration of the east-west oriented precipitation belt (Tropical Convergence Zone, TCZ) from southern hemisphere in winter to northern hemisphere in summer (Gadgil, 2003). The largest northward excursion of the rain belt takes place over the Indian monsoon region where it moves from a mean position of about 5°S in winter (Figure 2.1 (a)) to about 20°N in northern summer (Figure 2.1(d)) (Waliser and Gautier, 1993). In the upper atmosphere (200 hPa), the equatorial easterlies are weak and confined between 5°N and 10°S while the subtropical westerlies intrude all the way to 10°N during northern winter (Figure 2.1(c)).

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publication: Intraseasonal Variability of the Atmosphere-Ocean Climate System
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg with Praxis Publishing
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:37
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/10598

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