Diagnostic modeling of the Indian monsoon onset: Part 1: Model description and validation

Iacobellis, SF, Somerville RCJ.  1991.  Diagnostic modeling of the Indian monsoon onset: Part 1: Model description and validation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 48:1948-1959.

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1979 summer monsoon, arabian sea, convection, cumulus, mean fields, ocean, parameterization, solar-radiation, surface, thermal structure, water-vapor transport


A new type of diagnostic model is developed and applied to the study of the onset of the Indian summer monsoon. The purpose of the model is to aid in the analysis of interactions between the physical processes that affect the monsoon onset. The model is one-dimensional and consists of a single atmospheric column coupled to an ocean mixed layer. The atmospheric component of the model includes representations of all the physical processes typically included in general circulation models, except that the fields of vertical motion and horizontal advection are specified at each time step from observational data rather than predicted. With these time-dependent observational inputs, the model is then integrated numerically to produce consistent profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity, together with energy budget components and other diagnostic quantities. The atmospheric model is based on the thermodynamic energy equation and a conservation equation for water. Parameterizations of the effects of solar and terrestrial radiation, interactive cloudiness, convection, condensation, surface fluxes, and other processes are adapted from current practice in numerical weather prediction and general circulation modeling. The model includes 15 layers in the vertical and employs a time step of 1 hour. Results are presented from four-week integrations at different locations over the Arabian Sea during the 1979 monsoon onset period. Comparison of model results with independent observational data shows that the model demonstrates considerable skill in reproducing the large increase in precipitation associated with the monsoon onset, together with significant changes in surface fluxes, cloudiness, and other variables. This realism suggests that the model is a promising tool for achieving an increased understanding of the role of interacting physical processes and for developing improved prognostic models for simulating the monsoon onset.