Return to CIG


View All Publications

Go To Publication by Year:

View Publications by Topic:



Air Quality

Aquatic Ecosystems and Fisheries

Background Papers

Climate: Atmospheric Modeling

Climate: Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Modeling

Climate: Diagnostics

Climate: Global Climate

Climate: Ocean Modeling

Climate: PNW Climate

Climate: Regional Climate Modeling

Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal Environments

Conservation Biology

Data Analysis and Sharing


Fact Sheets

Forecasts and Applications

Forest Ecosystems

Human Health

Hydrology and Water Resources


Integrated Assessment

Ocean Acidification


Program Documents

Science Advisory Reports

Societal Dimensions

Special Reports

Theses and Dissertations

View Publications by Author:

Search the Publication Abstracts:

Other CSES Links:

About CSES

CSES Personnel

Data / Links


Welcome to the publications directory for the Climate Impacts Group and the Climate Dynamics Group. Please contact the web administrator for assistance with any of these publications.

View: Abstract

Interannual Indian rainfall variability and Indian Ocean sea surface temperature anomalies

Vecchi, G., and D.E. Harrison. 2004. Interannual Indian rainfall variability and Indian Ocean sea surface temperature anomalies. pages 247-260 in C. Wang, S.-P. Xie, and J.A. Carton (eds.) Earth Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph 147, Washington D.C..


It is shown that interannual variations in Indian continental rainfall during the southwest monsoon can be usefully represented by two regional rainfall indices. Indian rainfall is concentrated in two regions, each with strong mean and variance in precipitation: the Western Ghats (WG) and the Ganges-Mahanadi Basin (GB) region. Interannual variability of rainfall averaged over each of the two regions (WG and GB) is uncorrelated; however, the rainfall over these two regions together explains 90% of the interannual variance of All-India rainfall (AIR). The lack of correlation between WG and GB rainfall suggests that different mechanisms may account for their variability. During the period 1982-2001, rainfall variability over each of these two regions exhibits distinct relationships to Indian Ocean SST: warm SSTA over the western Arabian Sea at the monsoon onset is associated with increased WG rainfall (r = 0.77), while cool SSTA off of Java and Sumatra is associated with increased GB rainfall (r = -0.55). The connection between SSTA and AIR is considerably weaker, and represents the superposition of that associated with each region. We find the relationship with WG rainfall is robust, while that with GB results from a single exceptional year. Each region also exhibits distinct relationships to El Niño SSTA indices.