Climate Dynamics

, Volume 42, Issue 9–10, pp 2397–2410 | Cite as

Influence of PDO on South Asian summer monsoon and monsoon–ENSO relation

  • Lakshmi KrishnamurthyEmail author
  • V. Krishnamurthy


This study has investigated the possible relation between the Indian summer monsoon and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) observed in the sea surface temperature (SST) of the North Pacific Ocean. Using long records of observations and coupled model (NCAR CCSM4) simulation, this study has found that the warm (cold) phase of the PDO is associated with deficit (excess) rainfall over India. The PDO extends its influence to the tropical Pacific and modifies the relation between the monsoon rainfall and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the warm PDO period, the impact of El Niño (La Niña) on the monsoon rainfall is enhanced (reduced). A hypothesis put forward for the mechanism by which PDO affects the monsoon starts with the seasonal footprinting of SST from the North Pacific to the subtropical Pacific. This condition affects the trade winds, and either strengthens or weakens the Walker circulation over the Pacific and Indian Oceans depending on the phase of the PDO. The associated Hadley circulation in the monsoon region determines the impact of PDO on the monsoon rainfall. We suggest that knowing the phase of PDO may lead to better long-term prediction of the seasonal monsoon rainfall and the impact of ENSO on monsoon.


Indian monsoon PDO ENSO CCSM4 Monsoon circulation 



This work was supported by National Science Foundation (grants ATM-0830062 and ATM-0830068), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (grant NA09OAR4310058), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (grant NNX09AN50G). We thank National Center for Atmospheric Research for the model data and Ben Kirtman for helpful discussions. This work formed a part of the Ph.D. thesis of Lakshmi Krishnamurthy at George Mason University.


  1. Alexander MA, Vimont DJ, Chang P, Scott JD (2010) The impact of extratropical atmospheric variability on ENSO: testing the seasonal footprinting mechanism using coupled model experiments. J Clim 23:2885–2901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnett TP, Pierce DW, Latif M, Dommenget D, Saravanan R (1999) Interdecadal interactions between the tropics and midlatitudes in the Pacific basin. Geophys Res Lett 26:615–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basnett T, Parker D (1997) Development of the global mean sea level pressure data set GMSPL2. Climate Research Technical Note 79, Hadley Centre for Climate ChangeGoogle Scholar
  4. Boer GJ (2000) A study of atmosphere-ocean predictability on long time scales. Clim Dyn 16:469–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Compo GP et al (2011) The twentieth century reanalysis project. Quart J Roy Meteor Soc 137:1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Danabasoglu G et al (2012) The CCSM4 ocean component. J Clim 25:1361–1389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deser C, Phillips AS, Hurrell JW (2004) Pacific interdecadal climate variability: linkages between the tropics and the North Pacific during boreal winter since 1900. J Clim 17:3109–3124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gent PR et al (2011) The community climate system model version 4. J Clim 24:4973–4991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goddard L et al (2012) Two time scales for the price of one (almost). Bull Amer Meteor Soc 93:621–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gu D, Philander SGH (1997) Interdecadal climate fluctuations that depend on exchanges between the tropics and the extratropics. Science 275:805–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hu ZZ, Huang B (2009) Interferential impact of ENSO and PDO on dry and wet conditions in the US, Great Plains. J Clim 22:6047–6065CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hunke EC, Lipscomb WH (2008) CICE: the Los Alamos sea ice model user’s manual, version 4. Los Alamos National Laboratory Technical Report LA-CC-06-012, pp 76Google Scholar
  13. Kalnay E et al (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 77:437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kirtman BP, Shukla J (2000) Influence of the Indian summer monsoon on ENSO. Quart J Roy Meteor Soc 126:213–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Krishnamurthy V, Goswami BN (2000) Indian monsoon–ENSO relationship on interdecadal timescale. J Clim 13:579–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Krishnamurthy V, Kirtman BP (2009) Relation between Indian monsoon variability and SST. J Clim 22:4437–4458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Krishnamurthy V, Shukla J (2008) Seasonal persistence and propagation of intraseasonal patterns over the Indian monsoon region. Clim Dyn 30:353–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Krishnan R, Sugi M (2003) Pacific decadal oscillation and variability of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Clim Dyn 21:233–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Latif M (1998) Dynamics of interdecadal variability in coupled ocean-atmosphere models. J Climate 11:602–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Latif M, Barnett TP (1994) Causes of decadal climate variability over the North Pacific and North America. Science 266:634–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lawrence DM et al (2011) Parameterization improvements and functional and structural advances in version 4 of the community land model. J Adv Model Earth Syst 3:M03001. doi: 10.1029/2011MS000045 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Legates DR, Willmott CJ (1990) Mean seasonal and spatial variability in gauge corrected, global precipitation. Int J Climatol 10:111–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liu Z (2012) Dynamics of interdecadal climate variability: a historical perspective. J Clim 25:1963–1995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mantua NJ, Hare SJ (2002) The Pacific decadal oscillation. J Oceanogr 58:35–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mantua NJ, Hare SR, Zhang Y, Wallace JM, Francis RCA (1997) Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 78:1069–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meehl GA et al (2009) Decadal prediction. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 90:1467–1485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Minobe S, Nakanowatari T (2002) Global structure of bidecadal precipitation variability in boreal winter. Geophys Res Lett 29(10):1396. doi: 10.1029/2001GL014447 Google Scholar
  28. Neale RB et al (2011) Description of the NCAR community atmosphere model (CAM4). Technical Report NCAR/TN-485+STR, National Center for Atmospheric Research. pp 120Google Scholar
  29. Newman M (2007) Interannual to decadal predictability of tropical and North Pacific Sea surface temperatures. J Clim 20:2333–2356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pierce DW, Barnett TP, Latif M (2000) Connections between the Pacific Ocean tropics and mid-latitudes on decadal timescales. J Clim 13:1173–1194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Power S et al (1999) Decadal climate variability in Australia during the twentieth century. Int J Climatol 19:169–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rajeevan M, Bhate J, Jaswal AK (2008) Analysis of variability and trends of extreme rainfall events over India using 104 years of gridded daily rainfall data. Geophys Res Lett 35:L18707. doi: 1029/2008GL035143 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rasmusson EM, Carpenter TH (1983) The relationship between eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures and rainfall over India and Sri Lanka. Mon Wea Rev 111:517–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rayner NA et al (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108(D14):4407. doi: 10.1029/2002JD002670 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schneider N, Cornuelle BD (2005) The forcing of the Pacific decadal oscillation. J Clim 18:4355–4373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sen Roy S (2011) Identification of periodicity in the relationship between PDO, El Niño and peak monsoon rainfall in India using S-transform analysis. Int J Climatol 31:1507–1517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sen Roy S, Goodrich GB, Balling RC (2003) Influence of El Niño/southern oscillation, Pacific decadal oscillation, and local sea-surface temperature anomalies on peak season monsoon precipitation in India. Clim Res 25:171–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sikka DR (1980) Some aspects of the large scale fluctuations of summer monsoon rainfall over India in relation to fluctuations in the planetary and regional scale circulation parameters. Proc Indian Natl Acad Sci 89:179–195Google Scholar
  39. Smith TM, Arkin PA, Sapiano MRP, Chang CY (2010) Merged statistical analyses of historical monthly precipitation anomalies beginning 1900. J Clim 23:5755–5770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Smith RD et al (2010b) The parallel ocean program (POP) reference manual. Los Alamos National Laboratory Technical Reports. LAUR-10-01853, pp 140Google Scholar
  41. Troccoli A, Palmer TN (2007) Ensemble decadal predictions from analysed initial conditions. Phil Trans Roy Soc A 365:2179–2191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vimont DJ (2005) The contribution of the interannual ENSO cycle to the spatial pattern of decadal ENSO-like variability. J Clim 18:2080–2092CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vimont DJ, Battisti DS, Hirst AC (2001) Footprinting: a seasonal connection between the tropics and midlatitudes. Geophys Res Lett 28:3923–3926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vimont DJ, Battisti DS, Hirst AC (2003a) The seasonal footprinting mechanism in the CSIRO general circulation models. J Clim 16:2653–2667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vimont DJ, Wallace JM, Battisti DS (2003b) The seasonal footprinting mechanism in the Pacific: implications for ENSO. J Clim 16:2668–2675CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth SciencesGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere StudiesInstitute of Global Environment and SocietyCalvertonUSA

Personalised recommendations