Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 32(2), (2019): 549-573. doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0413.1.
Time series of surface meteorology and air–sea fluxes from the northern Bay of Bengal are analyzed, quantifying annual and seasonal means, variability, and the potential for surface fluxes to contribute significantly to variability in surface temperature and salinity. Strong signals were associated with solar insolation and its modulation by cloud cover, and, in the 5- to 50-day range, with intraseasonal oscillations (ISOs). The northeast (NE) monsoon (DJF) was typically cloud free, with strong latent heat loss and several moderate wind events, and had the only seasonal mean ocean heat loss. The spring intermonsoon (MAM) was cloud free and had light winds and the strongest ocean heating. Strong ISOs and Tropical Cyclone Komen were seen in the southwest (SW) monsoon (JJA), when 65% of the 2.2-m total rain fell, and oceanic mean heating was small. The fall intermonsoon (SON) initially had moderate convective systems and mean ocean heating, with a transition to drier winds and mean ocean heat loss in the last month. Observed surface freshwater flux applied to a layer of the observed thickness produced drops in salinity with timing and magnitude similar to the initial drops in salinity in the summer monsoon, but did not reproduce the salinity variability of the fall intermonsoon. Observed surface heat flux has the potential to cause the temperature trends of the different seasons, but uncertainty in how shortwave radiation is absorbed in the upper ocean limits quantifying the role of surface forcing in the evolution of mixed layer temperature.
The deployment of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) mooring and RW and JTF were supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, Grant N00014-13-1-0453. DS acknowledges support from the Ministry of Earth Sciences under India’s
National Monsoon Mission. HS acknowledges support from the Office of Naval Research Grants N00014-13-1-0453 and N00014-17-12398. The deployment of the WHOI mooring was done by RV Sagar Nidhi and the recovery by RV Sagar Kanya; the help of the crew and science parties is gratefully acknowledged as is the ongoing support at NIOT in Chennai and by other colleagues in India of this mooring work. The work of the staff of the WHOI Upper Ocean Process Group in the design, building, deployment, and recovery of the mooring and in processing the data is gratefully acknowledged. The software for the wavelet
analysis was provided by Torrence and Compo (1998). Feedback on the paper by Dr. Amit Tandon and two anonymous reviewers is gratefully acknowledged. This paper is dedicated to Dr. Frank Bradley.
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