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Letters to Nature
Nature 312, 141 - 143 (08 November 1984); doi:10.1038/312141a0

Ocean–atmosphere coupling over monsoon regions

Sulochana Gadgil, P. V. Joseph* & N. V. Joshi

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India
*India Meteorological Department, Pune 411 005, India

In monsoon regions, the seasonal migration of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is manifested as a seasonal reversal of winds. Most of the summer monsoon rainfall over India occurs owing to synoptic and large-scale convection associated with the continental ITCZ (Fig. 1). We have investigated the interaction between these large-scale convective systems and the ocean over which they are generated1–3, concentrating on the relationship between organized convection over the Indian Ocean and sea surface temperature (SST). We report here that on a monthly basis the degree of cloudiness correlates well with SST for the relatively colder oceans, but when SST is maintained above 28 °C it ceases to be an important factor in determining the variability of cloudiness. Over the major regions of convection east of 70°E, which are warm year after year, the observed cloudiness cannot be correlated with variations in SST.

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