Monsoon onset over Kerala (India) which occurs every year is a major climatic phenomenon that involves large scale changes in wind, rainfall and sea surface temperature (SST). Over the last 150 years, the date of monsoon onset over Kerala (DMOK) has varied widely, the earliest being 11 May, 1918 and the most delayed being 18 June, 1972. DMOK has a long term (1870–2014) mean of 01 June and standard deviation of 7–8 days. We have studied the inter-annual and decadal time scale variability of DMOK and their relation with SST. We found that SST anomalies of large spatial scale similar to those in El Nino/La Nina are associated with the inter-annual variability in DMOK. Indian Ocean between latitudes 5∘S and 20∘N has two episodes of active convection associated with monsoon onset over Kerala (MOK), one around DMOK and the other about six weeks earlier (called pre-monsoon rain peak or bogus monsoon onset) and in between a two week period of suppressed convection occurs over north Indian Ocean. A prominent decadal time scale variability was found in DMOK having large and statistically significant linear correlation with the SST gradient across the equator over Indian and Pacific oceans, the large correlation persisting for several months prior to the MOK. However, no linear trend was seen in DMOK during the long period from 1870 to 2014.
Volume 131, 2022
Continuous Article Publishing mode
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode