Variability of Indian summer monsoon in a new upper tropospheric humidity data set

Prince K. Xavier, Viju O. John, S. A. Buehler, R. S. Ajayamohan, S. Sijikumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a new data set we demonstrate the variability of upper troposphere humidity (UTH) associated with the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). The main advantage of the new data set is its all-sky representation which is essential to capture the full variability of humidity even in cloudy areas. We show that UTH undergoes significant variations during the active/break phases of the monsoon and discuss the mechanisms. The interannual variations of monsoon are also well reflected in the UTH. A preliminary investigation into the cause of the 2009 monsoon failure reveals anomalous subsidence and suppressed convection over the monsoon region due to anomalous warm conditions in the equatorial Pacific throughout the summer. The large scale drying of the upper troposphere may also have contributed to a negative feedback in suppressing convection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL05705
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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