Seasonal Climate Outlook for South Asia (June to September) Issued in May 2014

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1 Ministry of Earth Sciences Earth System Science Organization India Meteorological Department WMO Regional Climate Centre (Demonstration Phase) Pune, India Seasonal Climate Outlook for South Asia (June to September) Issued in May 2014 Currently the ENSO conditions over equatorial Pacific are in the border line between warm ENSO neutral and weak El Nino conditions. Latest forecasts from almost all ENSO prediction models indicate a transition to sustained El Niño conditions during the southwest monsoon with probability of about 70%. The chance for El Nino conditions increases to about 80% during the subsequent period. June to August and July to September seasons are likely to be drier than normal over most parts of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, whereas, normal to wetter than normal conditions are likely over most parts of Afghanistan, southern parts of Sri Lanka and southern parts of Myanmar. The temperatures during the seasons June to August (JJA) and July to September (JAS) are likely to be normal to warmer than normal over most parts of South Asia except Sri Lanka during JAS. On monthly scale, normal to drier than normal conditions are likely during June over Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal, whereas, wetter than normal conditions are likely over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Most of the countries of the region are likely to experience normal to lower than normal rainfall during July to September except August over Myanmar, July over Pakistan, July & September over Afghanistan and August & September over Sri Lanka. On monthly scale the temperatures are mostly to be warmer than normal over all the countries during the next four months from June to September except Bhutan and Sri Lanka. DISCLAIMER: (1) The long range forecasts presented here are currently experimental and are produced using techniques that have not been validated. The content is only for general information and its use is not intended to address particular requirements. (2) The geographical boundaries shown in this report do not necessarily correspond to the political boundaries.

2 1. Important Global Climate Factors 1.1 Sea Surface Temperatures over the Pacific Ocean The mean global sea surface temperatures (SST) anomalies (Fig.1) for the last four weeks (04-31 May, 2014) showed warmer than normal SSTs over most of the equatorial Pacific with warmest anomalies observed over eastern Pacific and areas close to the Date line. Warmer than normal SSTs was also observed over Northeast Pacific. However, colder than normal SSTs was observed over Southeast Pacific and along the west coast of South America. The warming trend in the sea surface temperatures over the equatorial Pacific which started during later part of March and continued through April and May has resulted the observed ENSO conditions to move from warm-neutral to the borderline of a weak El Niño condition. At the same time, the warmer than normal sub-surface temperatures remained wide spread across most of the Pacific. The latest weekly SST anomalies showed SST anomalies exceeding C over Nino3 and Nino3.4 regions. Latest forecasts from almost all ENSO prediction models indicate continuation of the warming trend with a transition to sustained El Niño conditions during the southwest monsoon. El Niño conditions during the monsoon season are known typically to weaken the South Asian summer monsoon circulation and adversely impact rainfall over the region. However, their impact on the regional rainfall distribution varies from year to year. 1.2 Sea Surface Temperatures over Indian Ocean During last four weeks, warmer than normal SSTs were observed over most parts of the tropical Indian Ocean with SST anomalies over western equatorial Indian Ocean being stronger than SST anomalies over eastern equatorial Indian Ocean (Fig.1). Currently neural Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are prevailing (Fig.3). The assessment of latest forecasts from various coupled models suggests neutral IOD conditions to continue during the monsoon season and the remaining part of the year. Fig. 1: SST anomalies ( 0 C) for the last 4 weeks (4 May-31 May, 2014). The anomalies were computed using a base period of (Source: Climate Prediction Centre, NCEP, NOAA). 2

3 Fig.2: Time series of area-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies ( C) in the Niño regions during the last one year (Source: Climate Prediction Centre, NCEP, NOAA). Fig.3: The time series of the Dipole Mode Index (DMI) upto May, 2014 representing Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions (Source: Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)) Convection (OLR) Anomaly Pattern over the Asia Pacific Region The convective activity in terms of outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) anomalies during last 4 weeks from 4 May to 31 May, 2014 is plotted in Fig. 4. The OLR anomaly pattern over tropical Pacific shows close association with the SST anomaly pattern with negative (positive) OLR anomalies seen over positive SST anomaly areas. The negative OLR anomalies representing enhanced convection are observed along the equatorial Pacific with maximum over East Pacific and areas just west of the Date line. Positive OLR anomalies (suppressed convection and precipitation, red shading) were observed south of the Equator near and east of the Date Line. Enhanced convection indicated by negative OLR anomalies are also observed over Bay of Bengal and most part of Indian land mass. 3

4 Fig. 4: OLR anomalies during 4-31 May, 2014 (Source: Climate Prediction Centre, NCEP, NOAA) Snow Cover Area over the Northern Hemisphere (NH) Data from Global snow lab indicates decrease in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) snow cover in April, 2014 compared to the previous month. April, 2014 snow cover over NH (28.55 million Sq. km) was lower than its average of 30 years ( ) by 1.66 million Sq. Km and that over Eurasia was (14.77 million Sq. km) lower than its average by million Sq. km. The April, 2014 snow cover areas over NH and Eurasia were also lower than that in the corresponding month last year and it was the 6th lowest among the April months of the last 48 years. During the last four months (January-April), except for February 2014, the snow-covered area averaged over the NH was below normal during all the other 3 months. The NH snow cover during winter and spring has a negative relationship in general with the subsequent Asian summer monsoon Madden and Julian Oscillation (MJO) During the first 9 days of May, 2014, the MJO was active over western hemisphere and Africa (Phases 8 and 1) which subsequently propagated across Indian Ocean (Phases 2 & 3) and by middle of May became weak for a period of 10 days. Currently, MJO has strengthened and is located over the Indian Ocean (Phase 2). 2. Seasonal Outlook for South Asia The outlook was prepared based on the forecast from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) s seasonal forecast model (SFM). The model is a hydrostatic global spectral model with a triangular truncation of 62 (T62) spherical harmonics (horizontal resolution of about 250 km) and a vertical sigma coordinate system of 28 layers. The ensemble simulations were carried out for 31 year period from 1982 to 2012 to prepare the model climatology. Each forecast was initialized using atmospheric conditions for first 10 days of May, and run continuously for next five months. The forecasted SSTs from the Coupled model, NCEP Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2) were used as the boundary conditions. 4

5 2.1. Precipitation Anomaly The seasonal forecasts for precipitation anomalies for the seasons June to August (JJA) and July to September (JAS) of 2014 are given in the Figs. 5a and 5b respectively. The JJA precipitation anomalies indicate normal to wetter than normal conditions are likely over most parts of Afghanistan, southern parts of Sri Lanka and southern parts of Myanmar (Fig. 5a). On the other hand, normal to drier than normal conditions are likely over most of the remaining areas of the south Asia including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh (Fig. 5a). During the JAS season, almost similar patterns of rainfall distribution is observed over the south Asian countries with normal to wetter than normal conditions are likely over most parts of Afghanistan, southern parts of Sri Lanka and southern parts of Myanmar and normal to drier than normal conditions are likely over most of the remaining areas of the south Asia (Fig. 5b). (a) Jun-Aug (JJA), 2014 (b) Jul-Sep (JAS), 2014 Fig.5: Seasonal forecasts of precipitation anomalies (mm/day) for a) JJA and b) JAS based on Initial conditions of May (right) 2.2. Temperature Anomaly The forecast temperature anomaly forecast for the seasons June to August (JJA) (Fig. 6a) and the July to September (JAS) (Fig. 6b) indicate positive temperature anomalies are likely over almost all the South Asian countries except Sri Lanka during JAS. 5

6 (a) Jun-Aug (JJA), 2014 (b) Jul-Sep (JAS), 2014 IMD Seasonal Forecast Model Temperature (2m) Anomaly ( 0 C) : JJA 2014 Forecast issued on 20 MAY 2014 IMD Seasonal Forecast Model Temperature (2m) Anomaly ( 0 C) : JAS 2014 Forecast issued on 20 MAY 2014 Fig.6: Seasonal forecasts of 2-meter temperature anomalies ( o C) for a) JJA and b) JAS (right) based on Initial conditions of May Forecast Outlook for the Country Averaged Monthly Precipitation and Temperature Anomalies The model forecast for monthly precipitation and temperature for the next four months (from June to September) averaged over the 8 south Asian countries viz., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka is shown in the Figures 7 & 8 respectively. The monthly rainfall anomaly is expressed as percentage departure from long period model average (LPMA) and monthly temperature anomaly is expressed in degree Celsius. In June 2014, normal to drier than normal conditions are likely over Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal, whereas, wetter than normal conditions are likely over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka (Fig. 7). During July to September, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal are likely to experience normal to drier than normal conditions (Fig. 7). Wetter than normal conditions are likely, over Myanmar during August, over Pakistan during July, over Afghanistan during July & September and over Sri Lanka during August & September, The country averaged monthly mean temperature anomalies show that most of the countries are likely to experience warmer than normal conditions during the next four months (Fig. 8). However, cooler than normal conditions are likely over Bangladesh in June, over Myanmar in September and over Sri Lanka in August & September (Fig. 8). On the other hand, Bhutan is likely to experience cooler than normal conditions during all months except August. 6

7 JUN JUL AUG SEP JUN JUL AUG SEP Fig. 7: Monthly rainfall departures (%) averaged over south Asian countries during June to September, Fig. 8: Monthly temperature anomaly ( 0 C) averaged over south Asian countries during June to September, 2014.

8 Background Since 1995, The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has been providing various climate related services to the country, through its National Climate Centre (NCC) situated in Pune. The centre has been carrying out many India specific climate related activities like Climate Monitoring and Analysis, Climate Research and Climate Prediction (Seasonal Forecasts). IMD has also been generating experimental dynamical forecasts for the southwest monsoon rainfall using the seasonal forecast model (SFM) of the Experimental Climate Prediction Center (ECPC), USA. Till 2010, the model forecasts were prepared using persistence sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly method. From 2011 onwards, the model forecasts were prepared using both persistence SST anomaly method and predicted SST method. In the latter method, global SST forecasts from NCEP coupled forecasting system (CFS) version 2 model was used as boundary forcing for the SFM model. For generating the forecasts, ten ensemble member forecasts were obtained using the initial conditions corresponding to 00Z from 1st to 10th of each month on which the forecast was prepared. As part of taking up the role of Regional Climate Centre for the south Asian region, IMD now prepares global monthly and seasonal forecasts in each month throughout the calendar year. Model simulations are generated for the next 5 months. However, for the monsoon season (June to September), the forecast are generated for 0 month lag to 5 months lag. NCC is now in the RCC demonstration phase. As a part of RCC activities, NCC, Pune has now started preparing seasonal climate forecast outlook for rainfall and temperature over south Asia and will be issued at the end of every month. The present outlook is the first one and is valid for the next four months. 8

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