MJO Affects the Monsoon Onset Timing Over the Indian Region

Sourav Taraphdar, Fuqing Zhang, L. Ruby Leung, Xingchao Chen, Olivier M. Pauluis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the linkage between the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) and the South Asian summer monsoon onset through spatiotemporal wave-filtering and composite analyses of observational data sets during 1979–2016. We identify two major factors in determining the summer monsoon onset timing: the background conditions associated with seasonal transitions and the intraseasonal variations associated with an active MJO. The background conditions undergo sharp seasonal transition over the western Indian Ocean two to three pentads before the onset dates, while a typical monsoon onset is often associated with the arrival of the wet phase of the tropical MJO over the Indian Ocean, likely due to the promotion by the MJO-initiated eastward propagating westerly wind anomaly. Conversely, the atmospheric circulation associated with the leading dry phase of a strong MJO during the climatological mean onset dates may lead to a delayed monsoon onset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10011-10018
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 28 2018


  • Asian monsoon
  • Indian monsoon
  • MJO
  • monsoon
  • monsoon onset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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