Volume 112, Issue 2
June 2003, pages 129-312
pp 129-129 June 2003
pp 131-146 June 2003
This paper describes the near surface characteristics and vertical variations based on the observations made at 17.5‡N and 89‡E from ORV Sagar Kanya in the north Bay of Bengal during the Bay of Bengal Monsoon Experiment (BOBMEX) carried out in July–August 1999. BOBMEX captured both the active and weak phases of convection. SST remained above the convection threshold throughout the BOBMEX. While the response of the SST to atmospheric forcing was clearly observed, the response of the atmosphere to SST changes was not clear. SST decreased during periods of large scale precipitation, and increased during a weak phase of convection. It is shown that the latent heat flux at comparable wind speeds was about 25–50% lower over the Bay during BOBMEX compared to that over the Indian Ocean during other seasons and tropical west Pacific. On the other hand, the largest variations in the surface daily net heat flux are observed over the Bay during BOBMEX. SST predicted using observed surface fluxes showed that 1-D heat balance model works sometime but not always, and horizontal advection is important. The high resolution Vaisala radiosondes launched during BOBMEX could clearly bring out the changes in the vertical structure of the atmosphere between active and weak phases of convection. Convective Available Potential Energy of the surface air decreased by 2–3 kJ kg-1 following convection, and recovered in a time period of one or two days. The mid tropospheric relative humidity and water vapor content, and wind direction show the major changes between the active and weak phases of convection.
pp 147-163 June 2003
Convective activity is one of the major processes in the atmosphere influencing the local and large-scale weather in the tropics. The latent heat released by the cumulus cloud is known to drive monsoon circulation, which on the other hand supplies the moisture that maintains the cumulus clouds. An investigation is carried out on the convective structure of the atmosphere during active and suppressed periods of convection using data sets obtained from the Bay of Bengal and Monsoon Experiment (BOBMEX). The cumulus convection though being a small-scale phenomenon, still influences its embedding environment by interaction through various scales. This study shows the variation in the kinematic and convective parameters during the transition from suppressed to active periods of convection. Convergence in the lower levels and strong upward vertical velocity, significant during active convection are associated with the formation of monsoon depressions. The apparent heat source due to latent heat release and the vertical transport of the eddy heat by cumulus convection, and the apparent moisture sink due to net condensation and vertical divergence of the eddy transport of moisture, are estimated through residuals of the thermodynamic equation and examined in relation to monsoon activity during BOBMEX.
pp 165-184 June 2003
The skill and efficiency of a numerical model mostly varies with the quality of initial values, accuracy on parameterization of physical processes and horizontal and vertical resolution of the model. Commonly used low-resolution reanalyses are hardly able to capture the prominent features associated with organized convective processes in a monsoon depression. The objective is to prepare improved high-resolution analysis by the use of MM5 modelling system developed by the Pennsylvania State University/National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU/NCAR). It requires the objective comparison of high and low-resolution analysis datasets in assessing the specific convective features of a monsoon depression. For this purpose, reanalysis datasets of NCAR/NCEP (National Center for Atmospheric Research/National Centers for Environmental Prediction) at a horizontal resolution of 2.5‡ (latitude/longitude) have been used as first guess in the objective analysis scheme. The additional asynoptic datasets obtained during BOBMEX-99 are utilized within the assimilation process. Cloud Motion Wind (CMW) data of METEOSAT satellite and SSM/I surface wind data are included for the improvement of derived analysis. The multiquadric (MQD) interpolation technique is selected and applied for meteorological objective analysis at a horizontal resolution of 30 km. After a successful inclusion of additional data, the resulting reanalysis is able to produce the structure of convective organization as well as prominent synoptic features associated with monsoon depression. Comparison and error verifications have been done with the help of available upper-air station data. The objective verification reveals the efficiency of the analysis scheme.
pp 185-204 June 2003
The characteristic features of the marine boundary layer (MBL) over the Bay of Bengal during the southwest monsoon and the factors influencing it are investigated. The Bay of Bengal and Monsoon Experiment (BOBMEX) carried out during July–August 1999 is the first observational experiment under the Indian Climate Research Programme (ICRP). A very high-resolution data in the vertical was obtained during this experiment, which was used to study the MBL characteristics off the east coast of India in the north and south Bay of Bengal. Spells of active and suppressed convection over the Bay were observed, of which, three representative convective episodes were considered for the study. For this purpose a one-dimensional multi-level PBL model with a TKE-ε closure scheme was used. The soundings, viz., the vertical profiles of temperature, humidity, zonal and meridional component of wind, obtained onboard ORV Sagar Kanya and from coastal stations along the east coast are used for the study. The temporal evolution of turbulent kinetic energy, marine boundary layer height (MBLH), sensible and latent heat fluxes and drag coefficient of momentum are simulated for different epochs of monsoon and monsoon depressions during BOBMEX-99.The model also generates the vertical profiles of potential temperature, specific humidity, zonal and meridional wind. These simulated values compared reasonably well with the observations available from BOBMEX.
pp 205-221 June 2003
The spatial and temporal variations in aerosols and precursor gases over oceanic regions have special importance in the estimation of radiative forcing parameters and thereby in the refinement of general circulation models. Extensive observations of the columnar aerosol optical depth (AOD), total column ozone (TCO) and precipitable water content (PWC) have been carried out using the on-line, multi-band solar radiometers onboard ORV Sagar Kanya (Cruise # SK 147B) over Bay of Bengal during 11th–28th August 1999. Aerosol optical and physical properties (optical depth and angstrom parameter) have been estimated at six wavelengths covering from UV to NIR (380–1020 nm) while TCO and PWC have been determined using the UV band around 300 nm and NIR band around 940 nm, respectively. Added, concurrent meteorological and satellite observations during this field phase of BOBMEX-99 have been utilized to investigate spectral-temporal variations of AOD, TCO and PWC in marine environment.
The results indicate lower AODs (around 0.4 at characteristic wavelength of 500 nm) and size distributions with abundance of coarse-mode particles as compared to those aerosols of typical land origin. An interesting result that is found in the present study is the significant reduction in AOD at all wavelengths from initial to later part of observation period due to cloud-scavenging and rain-washout effects as well as signature of coastal aerosol loading. The clear-sky daytime diurnal variation of TCO shows gradual increase during post-sunrise hours, broad maximum during afternoon hours and gradual decrease during pre-sunset hours, which is considered to be due to photochemical reactions. The diurnal variation curve of PWC showed maximum (~ 4 cm) during morning hours and gradual decrease (~ 3.5 cm) towards evening hours, which are found to be greater as compared to typical values over land. Another interesting feature observed is that although the PWC values are very high, there was no proportionate or appreciable enhancement in AOD—a feature that can be utilized to infer composition of aerosols over the study region.
pp 223-232 June 2003
A daily rainfall dataset and the corresponding rainfall maps have been produced by objective analysis of rainfall data. The satellite estimate of rainfall and the raingauge values are merged to form the final analysis. Associated with epochs of monsoon these rainfall maps are able to show the rainfall activities over India and the Bay of Bengal region during the BOBMEX period. The intra-seasonal variations of rainfall during BOBMEX are also seen using these data. This dataset over the oceanic region compares well with other available popular datasets like GPCP and CMAP. Over land this dataset brings out the features of monsoon in more detail due to the availability of more local raingauge stations.
pp 233-237 June 2003
Analysis of the spatial data collected along two sections of temperature and salinity from Chennai to 13‡N and 87‡E and back to Chennai onboard INS Sagardhwani during the Bay of Bengal Monsoon Experiment (BOBMEX) from 10th to 20th August 1999 revealed the presence of a prominent cyclonic eddy centered around 280 km away from the coast. Analysis of the dissipation rate of the cyclonic eddy from transect one to transect two and from the analysis of the TOPEX data, it may be inferred that the cyclonic eddy is possibly due to the presence of westward propagating Rossby waves in the Bay of Bengal.
pp 239-253 June 2003
We document the flow features, which are associated with the important synoptic systems that affected the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and its neighbourhood and controlled the convective activity there during BOBMEX. The monsoon during July and August, 1999 was subdued. It was slightly more active in the initial phase of BOBMEX that commenced on 15th July 1999 and continued up to first week of August 1999 but weakened during the second half of August. The convection was accordingly affected, reducing the rainfall over India. There were several active and weak spells of convection over the Bay of Bengal that manifested in five low pressure systems, of which two became depressions.
pp 255-266 June 2003
Time-series wind and wave measurements were carried out onboard INS Sagardhwani in the central Bay of Bengal during BOBMEX-99. Various other marine meteorological and oceanographic measurements relevant to monsoon studies were also collected simultaneously. The observed variations of wind and waves and the associated mixed layer depth (MLD) variability based on both temperature and density criteria at 3 hourly intervals are presented in this paper as a case study. At the time-series location (13‡N, 87‡E) wind varied between 6 and 16m/s and the predominant direction was southwesterly. The significant wave height and period varied from 1.9 to 3.7m and 8 to 13 s respectively. Some of the available statistical predictive methods for the determination of MLD by forced mixing are utilized to test the extent of mechanical mixing within the top layer of water by the local wind and wave activity. The same is extended to formulate a new empirical relation for gross estimation of effective depth within which the sound energy is generally trapped during its transmission in the surface duct. The present analysis aiming for estimation of observed MLD variability (35 to 75 m) using the suggested simple empirical relation reveals that, the mixed layer variability observed during the experiment depends on both local ocean variability as well as remote forcing as reported earlier.
pp 267-281 June 2003
Time series measurements of radiative fluxes were made onboard INS Sagardhwani (SD) in the south Bay of Bengal near DS3 (13‡N and 87‡E) during the BOBMEX field experiment. An inter-comparison experiment conducted at DS3 showed that the radiative fluxes measured by Kipp and Zonen, Albedo meter and net Pyrgeometer onboard SD and by Eppley radiometers onboard ORV Sagar Kanya (SK) are well matched. It may be mentioned that the measurements showed consistency and good agreement between SD and SK ships, even though no Gimbal mounting was used for radiation instruments onboard SD.
The main aim of the experiment was collection of high quality radiation data during the monsoon period, which can give an insight into the nature of the ocean-atmosphere coupling. The data on the four radiative fluxes collected on SD are averaged at 5 minute intervals and then hourly and daily averages have been computed. The hourly shortwave albedo and the atmospheric transmission factor are also computed and the variation of albedo in relation to the solar altitude and the transmissivity factor (TF) are studied. The mean albedo over the south Bay of Bengal under clear, partly cloudy and overcast skies are found to be 0.05, 0.07 and 0.2 respectively.
pp 283-293 June 2003
Surface meteorological parameters acquired during the field phase experiment, BOBMEX-99, for the stationary periods (SP I and II) of the ship ORV Sagar Kanya over Bay of Bengal have been analysed. Active and weak monsoon conditions were observed during the first and the second phase of the experiment respectively over India as well as over the stationary ship location. The phase mean sea surface temperature (SST) is found to be the same in both the phases, however large differences have been observed in the phase mean values of wind speed, mean sea level pressure, latent heat and momentum fluxes at air-sea interface. Synoptic scale monsoon disturbances formed only during the period of strong north-south pressure gradient over the Bay region. Events of prominent fall in SST and in the upper 15 m ocean layer mean temperature and salinity values during typical rainfall events are cited. The impact of monsoon disturbances on ocean-atmosphere interface transfer processes has been investigated.
pp 295-312 June 2003
Thermodynamic structure of the marine atmosphere in the region between 80 and 87‡E along 13‡N over the Bay of Bengal was studied using 13 high resolution radiosonde profiles from surface-400 hPa collected onboard ORV Sagar Kanya during the period 27th–30th August, during BOBMEX-99. Saturation point concept, mixing line analysis and conserved variable diagrams have been used to identify boundary layer characteristics such as air mass movement and stability of the atmosphere. The results showed relatively dry air near the ocean surface between 1000 and 950 hPa. This feature is confirmed by the conserved þetav structure in this layer. Further, þetav seldom showed any inversions in this region. The þetae and þetaes profiles showed persistent low cloud layers between 900 and 700 hPa. The conserved variable diagrams (þetae-q) showed the existence of double mixing line structures approximately at 950 and 700 hPa levels.