Interannual Variations of Indian Summer Monsoon in a GCM: External Conditions versus Internal Feedbacks

B. N. Goswami
1998 Journal of Climate  
The potential predictability of the Indian summer monsoon due to slowly varying sea surface temperature (SST) forcing is examined. Factors responsible for limiting the predictability are also investigated. Three multiyear simulations with the R30 version of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's climate model are carried out for this purpose. The mean monsoon simulated by this model is realistic including the mean summer precipitation over the Indian continent. The interannual variability
more » ... f the large-scale component of the monsoon such as the "monsoon shear index" and its teleconnection with Pacific SST is well simulated by the model in a 15-yr integration with observed SST as boundary condition. On regional scales, the skill in simulating the interannual variability of precipitation over the Indian continent by the model is rather modest and its simultaneous correlation with eastern Pacific SST is negative but poor as observed. The poor predictability of precipitation over the Indian region in the model is related to the fact that contribution to the interannual variability over this region due to slow SST variations [El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related] is comparable to those due to regional-scale fluctuations unrelated to ENSO SST. The physical mechanism through which ENSO SST tend to produce reduction in precipitation over the Indian continent is also elucidated. A measure of internal variability of the model summer monsoon is obtained from a 20-yr integration of the same model with fixed annual cycle SST as boundary conditions but with predicted soil moisture and snow cover. A comparison of summer monsoon indexes between this run and the observed SST run shows that the internal oscillations can account for a large fraction of the simulated monsoon variability. The regional-scale oscillations in the observed SST run seems to arise from these internal oscillations. It is discovered that most of the interannual internal variability is due to an internal quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) of the model atmosphere. Such a QBO is also found in the author's third 18-yr simulation in which fixed annual cycle of SST as well as soil moisture and snow cover are prescribed. This shows that the model QBO is not due to landsurface-atmosphere interaction. It is proposed that the model QBO arises due to an interaction between nonlinear intraseasonal oscillations and the annual cycle. Spatial structure of the QBO and its role in limiting the predictability of the Indian summer monsoon is discussed. * Current affiliation: Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, Indian Institute
doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1998)011<0501:ivoism>;2 fatcat:m7hesj7ygve3lkn3esc7hzxno4