Regional Structure of the Indian Summer Monsoon in Observations, Reanalysis, and Simulation

Thomas.Jung [ at ]


Regional variations in seasonal mean Indian summer monsoon rainfall and circulation for the period 1979–2009 are investigated using multiple data products. The focus is on four separate regions: the Western Ghats (WG), the Ganges basin (GB), the Bay of Bengal (BB), and Bangladesh–northeastern India (BD). Data reliability varies strongly by region, with particularly low correlations between different products for the BB and BD regions. Correlations between regions are generally not statistically significant, indicating rainfall varies independently in these four regions. The diagnosed associations between rainfall, circulation, and sea surface temperatures can be sensitive to the choice of rainfall product, and multiple precipitation products may need to be analyzed in this region to ensure that the results are robust. Enhanced precipitation in the BD region is associated with anomalous anticyclonic circulation at 850 mb and westerly anomalies along the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau, while precipitation in the other regions is associated with cyclonic flow and easterlies. These associations provide a dynamical explanation for previously reported weak, negative correlations between BD and the other regions. In addition to observed products, atmosphere-only simulations made using the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Integrated Forecast System (IFS) during Project Athena are analyzed. While the simulations do not reproduce the observed interannual variations in rainfall, the fidelity of the simulated precipitation and circulation structure is comparable to or even outperforms the different state-of-the-art reanalysis products considered. Accuracy in representing interannual variability and regional structure thus appears to be independent.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Eprint ID
Cite as
Cash, B. A. , Kinter III, J. L. , Adams, C. J. , Altshuler, E. L. , Huang, B. , Jin, E. K. , Manganello, J. , Marx, L. and Jung, T. (2015): Regional Structure of the Indian Summer Monsoon in Observations, Reanalysis, and Simulation , Journal of Climate, 28 , pp. 1824-1841 .


Download (12MB) | Preview
Cite this document as:


Research Platforms


Edit Item Edit Item