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Global and Planetary Change




Elsevier BV

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Generally, a strong north India summer-monsoon rainfall (NISR) is associated with anomalous upper troposphere ridge over northwest of India. This ridge triggers anomalous northerly winds over Tibetan Plateau and easterlies over India. The easterly anomaly over India reduces the tropospheric wind shear, while the northerly at Tibetan plateau allows frequent intrusions of high-latitude dry and cold meridional winds to interact with the lower-level relatively warm and moist easterly monsoonal flow, enhancing the NISR. The current study, using a suite of observations, reanalysis products and numerical model sensitivity experiments, explores the changes in NISR, and its association with the warming in the equatorial Indian Ocean.

In the recent two decades (1996-2017), the NISR has been exhibiting a decreasing trend with increased variability, much larger than the earlier period (1979-2000). A possible reason for this is due to the rise in warm sea surface temperature (SST) observed in the east equatorial Indian ocean, which shows a negative correlation to NISR. The current analysis indicates that the warmer SST induce strong convection and associated northward propagating off-equatorial Rossby gyres to the west of the equatorial eastern Indian ocean, spreading the tropospheric heating towards the northeast of India, thereby elevating the geopotential height. This creates upper troposphere low pressure anomaly at the northwest of India. These factors are consistent with the suppression of the NISR, resulting in the observed decreasing trend in the recent decades