KUALA LUMPUR MONSOON ACTIVITY CENT

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1 T KUALA LUMPUR MONSOON ACTIVITY CENT 2 ALAYSIAN METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT MINISTRY OF SCIENCE. TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATIO

2 Introduction Atmospheric and oceanic conditions over the tropical Pacific Ocean reflect ENSO-neutral conditions from June to October 2016 but are more clearly trending towards La Nina during September to October Near average Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) were observed across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific from June to July 2016, but negative SST anomalies were observed over the eastcentral equatorial Pacific during September 2016 and expanded across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean by early October 2016, The expansion of negative SST anomalies in the central Pacific Ocean were reflected by the increasingly negative Nino- 3.4 index from June to October Anomalous upper level westerly winds were observed near the central Pacific Ocean from June to October 2016 accompanied by suppressed convection over the central Pacific Ocean and enhanced convection over Indonesia. Weak La Nina conditions were observed during October with negative SST anomalies in early November stretching across most of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean, in conjunction with weakly enhanced lower-level easterly winds near and west of the International Date Line, together with anomalously westerly upper-level winds mainly west of the International Date Line. 'Multi-model averages favour La Nina conditions continuing through winter (December-January-February) with ENSO-neutral favoured beyond February. The Indian Ocean Dipole (100) index has been negative since May 2016 but it was observed to have been gradually reverting to neutral since September 2016, and expected to end in November 2016 according to ensemble mean forecasts. Negative 100 events are associated with anomalously warm waters in the southern South China Sea, southern Indian Ocean and the Java Sea leading to enhanced convection in Indonesia and the southern Maritime Continent. The peak period of the western Pacific tropical cyclone season falls in September and October, in which many countries in Southeast Asia experience wet weather due to tropical storm or typhoon landfall or tail-effect. July to October 2016 witnessed twentytwo tropical cyclones in the western Pacific Ocean reaching tropical storm intensity or greater. It was close to the average value of 19.6 cases based on the Tokyo Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC), over the same period. Half of these tropical cyclones intensified into typhoons.

3 The Southwest Monsoon season, which lasts from May to October, is associated with the rainy season over Southeast Asia north of 10 o N, but dry weather conditions in south of 10 on. Analysis of the monthly mean 925-hPa wind circulation indicated intense southwesterly winds over the Bay of Bengal together with consistent southwesterly winds over the Maritime Continent from July to October The intrusion of strong southwesterly winds from the Bay of Bengal into the South China Sea was observed from August to September 2016 marking the active phase of the Southwest Monsoon. Meanwhile, the withdrawal of the Southwest Monsoon from Southeast Asia occurred in October 2016 whereby direct penetration of easterly winds from the western Pacific Ocean into Indochina occurred in conjunction with the weakening of the westerly winds over the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea in October Figure 1: 925-hPa Mean Wind Analysis (ms- 1 ) for (a) July 2016, (b) August 2016, (c) September 2016 and (d) October 2016

4 The mean zonal wind time series averaged between 10 on and 30 on at 850-hPa from 1 st July to 31 st October 2016 is shown in Figure 2. Westerly flow is depicted by yellow to red shading, while easterly flow is indicated by purple shading. Strong westerly winds from the Bay of Bengal (70 to 100 E) intruded into the South China Sea (100 to E) in July, August, and September of However, from mid-september onwards, easterly winds from the western Pacific Ocean advanced westwards and prevailed over the South China Sea in October 2016, indicating the withdrawal of the Southwest Monsoon season. Figure 2: Time Series of Mean Zonal Wind (ms 1) averaged between 10 0 N and 30 0 N at 850-hPa from 1 st July to 31 st October 2016 Figure 3 depicts the mean monthly distributions of anomalous OLR from July to October 2016, where suppressed convection is indicated by red to orange shading, while enhanced convection is indicated by the blue shading. Suppressed convection was generally observed over Indochina, Philippines, South China Sea, and the tropical western Pacific Ocean in July 2016, followed by a gradual shift to enhanced convection over these regions in September and October This change can be attributed to tropical storms and cyclones passing over these regions during the peak of the western Pacific typhoon season, which falls on September and October each year on average. An intensifying belt of enhanced convection was observed from the southern Indian Ocean to Papua New Guinea from

5 July to October This may be caused by the atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean showing a trend towards La Nina conditions during this time of the year. Additionally, the negative 100 event, which persisted since May 2016 may have contributed to enhanced convection and negative OLR over this region. Figure 3: Anomalous OLR (Wm- 2 ) for (a) July 2016, (b) August 2016, (c) September 2016 and (d) October Anomalies are departures from the base period monthly means. Time-Longitude section of anomalous OLR from 1 51 July to October 2016 are shown in Figure 4. In the belt between the Equator and 10 0 N (left panel), negative OLR anomalies were prevalent over the Malaysian region (100 to E) extending to the western Pacific Ocean east of 150 o E, while positive OLR anomalies persisted to the west of 150 o E. Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) was observed by the eastward propagation of anomalous negative OLR from the Indian Ocean (70 to 100 E) to the western Pacific Ocean (east of 120 E). In the belt between 10 ONand 20 ON, negative OLR anomalies were dominant in August and October The enhanced convective activity during this period, which propagated west into Indochina (95 E to 110 E) may

6 be attributed to tropical cyclones, which formed in the central Pacific Ocean, and made landfall in the Indochina region. Figure 4. Time-Longitude section of anomalous OLR (W m- 2 ) averaged between Equator and 10 on (left panel) and 10 on to 20 on (right panel) from 1 st July to 31 st October Anomalies are departures from the base period monthly means. Black arrows in the left panel show eastward propagating convective systems (MJO) while black arrows in the right panel indicate westward propagating convective systems (Tropical Cyclones). The Northeast Monsoon season, which is associated with the rainy season over most of Southeast Asia particularly over the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand and southern Indonesia, normally occurs from November to March. Severe floods often occur during this season over the Maritime Continent because of enhanced cloud formation by the convergence of cold air from Siberia with the tropical Pacific Easterly wind belt over the South China Sea, which acts as a source of moisture. Most global climate model outputs together with forecasters' consensus favour above normal rainfall in the Phillipines, Sulawesi, Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, Java and northern Australia over the next three months. Normal rainfall is expected over most states in Malaysia between December 2016 and February 2017 with the exception of the northwestern states of Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. In December 2016 and January 2017 slightly below normal rainfall is expected in southwestern Sarawak while in February slightly below normal rainfall is forecasted in interior Sarawak. Meanwhile, slightly below normal rainfall is expected over the northwestern parts of the Peninsula during the months of January and February 2017.

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