Monsoon Low Pressure System–Like Variability in an Idealized Moist Model

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Journal Article

In this paper, it is shown that westward-propagating monsoon-low-pressure-system-like disturbances in the South Asian monsoon region can be simulated in an idealized moist general circulation model through the addition of a simplified parameterization of land. Land is parameterized as having one-tenth the heat capacity of the surrounding slab ocean, with evaporation limited by a bucket hydrology model. In this model, the prominent topography of the Tibetan Plateau does not appear to be necessary for these storm systems to form or propagate; therefore focus is placed on the simulation with land but no topography. The properties of the simulated storms are elucidated using regression analysis and compared to results from composites of storms from comprehensive GCMs in prior literature and reanalysis. The storms share a similar vertical profile in anomalous Ertel potential vorticity to those in reanalysis. Propagation, however, does not seem to be strongly dictated by beta-drift. Rather, it seems to be more closely consistent with linear moisture vortex instability theory, with the exception of the importance of the vertical advection term in the Ertel potential vorticity budget toward the growth and maintenance of disturbances. The results presented here suggest that a simplified GCM configuration might be able to be used to gain a clearer understanding of the sensitivity of monsoon low pressure systems to changes in the mean state climate.

Journal of Climate
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