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Seasonal forecast of South China Sea summer monsoon onset disturbed by the cold tongue La Niña in recent decade

Fund Project:

This work was jointly sponsored by the National Science Natural Foundation of China (41830969), the National Key R&D Program (2018YFC1505904), and the Basic Scientific Research and Operation Foundation of the CAMS (2018Z006 and 2018Y003).

  • It has been suggested that a warm (cold) ENSO event in winter is mostly followed by the late (early) onset of the South China Sea (SCS) summer monsoon (SCSSM) in spring. Our results show this positive relationship, which is mainly determined by their phase correlation, has been broken under recent rapid global warming since 2011, due to the disturbance of cold tongue (CT) La Niña events. Different from canonical counterpart, the CT La Niña event is characterized by surface meridional wind divergences in the central-eastern equatorial Pacific, which can delay the SCSSM onset by the enhanced convections in the warming Indian Ocean and the western subtropical Pacific. Owing to the increased Indian-western Pacific warming and the prevalent CT La Niña events, the empirical seasonal forecast of SCSSM onset based on ENSO may be challenged in the future.
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    [2] Gill M. MARTIN, Amulya CHEVUTURI, Ruth E. COMER, Nick J. DUNSTONE, Adam A. SCAIFE, Daquan ZHANG, 2019: Predictability of South China Sea Summer Monsoon Onset, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 36, 253-260.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-018-8100-z
    [3] Hamza VARIKODEN, A. A. SAMAH, C. A. BABU, 2010: The Cold Tongue in the South China Sea during Boreal Winter and Its Interaction with the Atmosphere, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 27, 265-273.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-009-8141-4
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    [6] ZHOU Wen, Johnny Chung-Leung CHAN, LI Chongyin, 2005: South China Sea Summer Monsoon Onset in Relation to the Off-Equatorial ITCZ, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 22, 665-676.  doi: 10.1007/BF02918710
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    [8] Yan Junyue, 1997: Observational Study on the Onset of the South China Sea Southwest Monsoon, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 14, 277-287.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-997-0026-9
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    [14] Li Chongyin, Long Zhenxia, Zhang Qingyun, 2001: Strong/Weak Summer Monsoon Activity over the South China Sea and Atmospheric Intraseasonal Oscillation, ADVANCES IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 18, 1146-1160.  doi: 10.1007/s00376-001-0029-x
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 03 April 2020
Manuscript revised: 12 August 2020
Manuscript accepted: 10 September 2020
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Seasonal forecast of South China Sea summer monsoon onset disturbed by the cold tongue La Niña in recent decade

Abstract: It has been suggested that a warm (cold) ENSO event in winter is mostly followed by the late (early) onset of the South China Sea (SCS) summer monsoon (SCSSM) in spring. Our results show this positive relationship, which is mainly determined by their phase correlation, has been broken under recent rapid global warming since 2011, due to the disturbance of cold tongue (CT) La Niña events. Different from canonical counterpart, the CT La Niña event is characterized by surface meridional wind divergences in the central-eastern equatorial Pacific, which can delay the SCSSM onset by the enhanced convections in the warming Indian Ocean and the western subtropical Pacific. Owing to the increased Indian-western Pacific warming and the prevalent CT La Niña events, the empirical seasonal forecast of SCSSM onset based on ENSO may be challenged in the future.

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