Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 130, Issue 2, pp 175–190 | Cite as

Atmospheric water budget over the South Asian summer monsoon region

  • C. K. Unnikrishnan
  • M. Rajeevan
Original Paper


High resolution hybrid atmospheric water budget over the South Asian monsoon region is examined. The regional characteristics, variability, regional controlling factors and the interrelations of the atmospheric water budget components are investigated. The surface evapotranspiration was created using the High Resolution Land Data Assimilation System (HRLDAS) with the satellite-observed rainfall and vegetation fraction. HRLDAS evapotranspiration shows significant similarity with in situ observations and MODIS satellite-observed evapotranspiration. Result highlights the fundamental importance of evapotranspiration over northwest and southeast India on atmospheric water balance. The investigation shows that the surface net radiation controls the annual evapotranspiration over those regions, where the surface evapotranspiration is lower than 550 mm. The rainfall and evapotranspiration show a linear relation over the low-rainfall regions (<500 mm/year). Similar result is observed in in NASA GLDAS data (1980–2014). The atmospheric water budget shows annual, seasonal, and intra-seasonal variations. Evapotranspiration does not show a high intra-seasonal variability as compared to other water budget components. The coupling among the water budget anomalies is investigated. The results show that regional inter-annual evapotranspiration anomalies are not exactly in phase with rainfall anomalies; it is strongly influenced by the surface conditions and other atmospheric forcing (like surface net radiation). The lead and lag correlation of water budget components show that the water budget anomalies are interrelated in the monsoon season even up to 4 months lead. These results show the important regional interrelation of water budget anomalies on south Asian monsoon.



The TRMM data used in study is obtained from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (USA) Giovanni website. In situ observations from IMD and MODIS evapotranspiration data are obtained from University of Montana, USA. ERA Interim data are downloaded from ECMWF website. GLDAS data are available at NASA LDAS (GES DISC) server. Authors thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, which helped to improve this manuscript.


  1. Asharaf S, Dobler A, Ahrens B (2012) Soil moisture-precipitation feedback processes in the indian summer monsoon season. J Hydrometeor 13:1461–1474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhate J, Unnikrishnan CK, Rajeevan M (2012) Regional climate model simulations of the 2009 Indian summer monsoon. Indian J Radio Space Phys 41:488–500Google Scholar
  3. Chen F, Manning KW, LeMone MA, Trier SB, Alfieri JG, Roberts R, Tewari M, Niyogi D, Horst TW, Oncley SP, Basara JB, Blanken PD (2007) Description and evaluation of the characteristics of the NCAR high-resolution land data assimilation system. J Appl Meteorol Climatol 46:694–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dee DP, Uppala SM, Simmons AJ, Berrisford P, Poli P, Kobayashi S, Andrae U, Balmaseda MA, Balsamo G, Bauer P, Bechtold P, Beljaars ACM, van de Berg L, Bidlot J, Bormann N, Delsol C, Dragani R, Fuentes M, Geer AJ, Haimberger L, Healy SB, Hersbach H, Hólm EV, Isaksen L, Kållberg P, Köhler M, Matricardi M, McNally AP, Monge-Sanz BM, Morcrette J-J, Park B-K, Peubey C, de Rosnay P, Tavolato C, Thépaut J-N, Vitart F (2011) The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system, Q.J.R. Meteorol Soc 137:553–597. doi: 10.1002/qj.828 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gadgil S (2003) The Indian monsoon and its variability. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 31:429–467. doi: 10.1146/ CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goswami BN (2005) South Asian monsoon, Intraseasonal Variability in the Atmosphere-Ocean Climate System. Springer Praxis Books, Chichester, pp 19–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Guhathakurta P, Rajeevan M (2008) Trends in the rainfall pattern over India. Int J Climatol 28:1453–1469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Huffman GJ, Bolvin DT, Nelkin EJ, Wolff DB, Adler RF, Guojun G, Hong Y, Bowman KP, Stocker EF (2007) The TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA): Quasi-Global, Multiyear, Combined-Sensor Precipitation Estimates at Fine Scales. J Hydrometeor 8:38–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Koster RD et al (2004) Regions of strong coupling between soil moisture and precipitation. Science 305:1138–1140Google Scholar
  10. Meynadier R, Bock O, Guichard F, Boone A, Roucou P, Redelsperger J-L (2010) West African Monsoon water cycle: 1. A hybrid water budget data set. J Geophys Res 115:D19106. doi: 10.1029/2010JD013917 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mu Q, Zhao M, Running SW (2011) Improvements to a MODIS global terrestrial evapotranspiration algorithm. Remote Sens Environ 115(8):1781–1800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Padmakumari B, Jaswal AK, Goswami BN (2013) Decrease in evapotranspiration over the Indian monsoon region:implication on regional hydrological cycle. Clim Change. doi: 10.1007/s10584-013-0957-3 Google Scholar
  13. Peixoto JP, Oort AH (1992) Physics of climate. Am Inst Phys N Y 1:520Google Scholar
  14. Prasanna and Yasunari (2009) Time-space characteristics of seasonal and interannual variations of atmospheric water balance over South Asia. J Meteorol Soc Jpn Ser II 87(2):263–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Prasanna V, Yasunari T (2011) Simulated changes in the atmospheric water balance over south Asia in the eight IPCC-AR4 coupled climate models. Theor Appl Climatol 104:139–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rajeevan M, Bhate J (2008) A high resolution daily gridded rainfall data set (1971–2005) for mesoscale meteorological studies, IMD National Climate Centre, Research Report No: 9, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  17. Rajeevan M, Gadgil S, Bhate J (2010) Active and break spells of the Indian summer monsoon. J Earth Syst Sci 119(3):229–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rodell M, Houser PR, Jambor U, Gottschalck J, Mitchell K, Meng C-J, Arsenault K, Cosgrove B, Radakovich J, Bosilovich M, Entin JK, Walker JP, Lohmann D, Toll D (2004) The global land data assimilation system. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 85(3):381–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Taylor CM et al (2011) Frequency of Sahelian storm initiation enhanced over mesoscale soil moisture patterns. Nat Geosci 126:1597–1607Google Scholar
  20. Unnikrishnan CK, Rajeevan M, Vijayabhaskara Rao S, Kumar M (2013) Development of a high resolution land surface dataset for the South Asian monsoon region. Curr Sci 105(9):1235–1246Google Scholar
  21. Unnikrishnan CK, Rajeevan M, Rao SVB (2015) A study on the role of land-atmosphere coupling on the south Asian monsoon climate variability using a regional climate model. Theor Appl Climatol. doi: 10.1007/s00704-015-1680-y Google Scholar
  22. Wang B, Renguang W, Lau K-M (2001) Interannual Variability of the Asian Summer Monsoon: contrasts between the Indian and the Western North Pacific-East Asian Monsoons. J Climate 14:4073–4090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Yoon J-H, Chen TC (2005) Water vapor budget of the Indian monsoon depression. Tellus A 57:770–782. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0870.2005.00145.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre for Earth Science StudiesESSO-MoES, Government of IndiaThiruvananthapuramIndia
  2. 2.Ministry of Earth SciencesNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations