Large-scale interannual variation of the summer monsoon over India and its empirical prediction
Large-scale interannual variability of the northern summer southwest monsoon over India is studied by examining its variation in the dry area during the period 1871–1984. On the mean summer monsoon rainfall (June to September total) chart the 800 mm isohyet divides the country into two nearly equal halves, named as dry area (monsoon rainfall less than 800 mm) and wet area (monsoon rainfall greater than 800 mm). The dry area/wet area shows large variations from one year to another, and is considered as an index for assessing the large-scale performance of the Indian summer monsoon. Statistical and fluctuation characteristics of the summer monsoon dry area (SMDA) are reported.
To identify possible causes of variation in the Indian summer monsoon, the correlation between the summer monsoon dry area and eleven regional/global circulation parameters is examined. The northern hemisphere surface air temperature, zonal/hemispheric/global surface air and upper air temperatures, Southern Oscillation, Quasi-biennial oscillation of the equatorial lower stratosphere, April 500-mb ridge along 75°E over India, the Indian surface air temperature and the Bombay sea level pressure showed significant correlation.
A new predictor parameter that is preceding year mean monsoon rainfall of a few selected stations over India has been suggested in the present study. The stations have been selected by applying the objective technique ‘selecting a subset of few gauges whose mean monsoon rainfall of the preceding year has shown the highest correlation coefficient (CC) with the SMDA’. Bankura (Gangetic West Bengal), Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu) and Anupgarh (West Rajasthan) entered the selection showing a CC of 0.724. Using a dependent sample of 1951–1980 a predictive model (multiple CC = 0.745) has also been developed for the SMDA with preceding year mean monsoon rainfall of the three selected stations and the sea level pressure tendency at Darwin from Jan–Feb to Mar–May as independent parameters.