Potential predictability of the Asian summer monsoon on monthly and seasonal time scales

R. S. Ajaya Mohan, B. N. Goswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential predictability of the monthly and seasonal means during the Northern Hemisphere summer and winter is studied by estimating the signal-to-noise ratio. Based on 33 years of daily low-level wind observations and 24 years of satellite observations of outgoing long wave radiation, the predictability of the Asian summer monsoon region is contrasted with that over other tropical regions. A method of separating the contributions from slowly varying boundary forcing and internal dynamics (e.g., intraseasonal oscillations) that determine the predictability of the monthly mean tropical climate is proposed. We show that the Indian monsoon climate is only marginally predictable in monthly time scales as the contribution of the boundary forcing in this region is relatively low and that of the internal dynamics is relatively large. It is shown that excluding the Indian monsoon region, the predictable region is larger and predictability is higher in the tropics during northern summer. Even though the boundary forced variance is large during northern winter, the predictable region is smaller as the internal variance is larger and covers a larger region during northern winter (due to stronger intraseasonal activity). Consistent with the estimates of predictability of monthly means, estimates of potential predictability on seasonal time scales also indicate that predictability of seasonal mean Indian monsoon is limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-100
Number of pages18
JournalMeteorology and Atmospheric Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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