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Rossby waves in May and the Indian summer monsoon rainfall

John Wiley and Sons
Publication Date
  • Centre For Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences


Large amplitude stationary Rossby wave trains with wavelength in the range 50 degrees to 60 degrees longitude have been identified in the upper troposphere during May, through the analysis of 200 hPa wind anomalies. The spatial phase of these waves has been shown to differ by about 20 degrees of longitude between the dry and wet Indian monsoon years. It has been shown empirically that the Rossby waves are induced by the heat sources in the ITCZ. These heat sources appear in the Bay of Bengal and adjoining regions in May just prior to the onset of the Indian summer monsoon. The inter-annual spatial phase shift of the Rossby waves has been shown to be related to the shift in the deep convection in the zonal direction.

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