AbstractThe Tibetan Plateau (TP) has long been regarded as a key driver for the formation and variations of the Indian summer monsoon (ISM). Recent studies, however, have indicated that the ISM also exerts a considerable impact on rainfall variations in the TP, suggesting that the ISM and the TP should be considered as an interactive system. From this perspective, the covariability of the July–August mean rainfall across the Indian subcontinent (IS) and the TP is investigated. It is found that the interannual variation of IS and TP rainfall exhibits a dipole pattern in which rainfall in the central and northern IS tends to be out of phase with that in the southeastern TP. This dipole pattern is associated with significant anomalies in rainfall, atmospheric circulation, and water vapor transport over the Asian continent and nearby oceans. Rainfall anomalies and the associated latent heating in the central and northern IS tend to induce changes in regional circulation that suppress rainfall in the southeastern TP and vice versa. Furthermore, the sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical southeastern Indian Ocean can trigger the dipole rainfall pattern by suppressing convection over the central IS and the northern Bay of Bengal, which further induces anomalous anticyclonic circulation to the south of TP that favors more rainfall in the southeastern TP by transporting more water vapor to the region. The dipole pattern is also linked to the Silk Road wave train via its link to rainfall over the northwestern IS.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 27, 2017
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