Representation of monsoon intraseasonal oscillations in regional climate model: Sensitivity to convective physics

U. Umakanth, Amit P. Kesarkar, Attada Raju, S. Vijaya Bhaskar Rao

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study is to evaluate the performance of regional climate model (RegCM) version 4.4 over south Asian CORDEX domain to simulate seasonal mean and monsoon intraseasonal oscillations (MISOs) during Indian summer monsoon. Three combinations of Grell (G) and Emanuel (E) cumulus schemes namely, RegCM-EG, RegCM-EE and RegCM-GE have been used. The model is initialized at 1st January, 2000 for a 13-year continuous simulation at a spatial resolution of 50 km. The models reasonably simulate the seasonal mean low level wind pattern though they differ in simulating mean precipitation pattern. All models produce dry bias in precipitation over Indian land region except in RegCM-EG where relatively low value of dry bias is observed. On seasonal scale, the performance of RegCM-EG is more close to observation though it fails at intraseasonal time scales. In wave number-frequency spectrum, the observed peak in zonal wind (850 hPa) at 40–50 day scale is captured by all models with a slight change in amplitude, however, the 40–50 day peak in precipitation is completely absent in RegCM-EG. The space–time characteristics of MISOs are well captured by RegCM-EE over RegCM-GE, however it fails to show the eastward propagation of the convection across the Maritime Continent. Except RegCM-EE all other models completely underestimates the moisture advection from Equatorial Indian Ocean onto Indian land region during life-cycle of MISOs. The characteristics of MISOs are studied for strong (SM) and weak (WM) monsoon years and the differences in model performances are analyzed. The wavelet spectrum of rainfall over central India denotes that, the SM years are dominated by high frequency oscillations (period <20 days) whereas little higher periods (>30 days) along with dominated low periods (<20 days) observed during WM years. During SM, RegCM-EE is dominated with high frequency oscillations (period <20 days) whereas in WM, RegCM-EE is dominated with periods >20 days. Except RegCM-EE, all other models fail to capture the observed spectral features for SM and WM years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-917
Number of pages23
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Active and break spells
  • Horizontal moisture advection
  • Intraseasonal variability of the monsoon
  • Regional climate model
  • Seasonal mean monsoon

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