Synoptic processes of winter precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin release_6q3ufqxqovfchorlht6zsikqle

by Jean-Philippe Baudouin, Michael Herzog, Cameron Petrie

Released as a post by Copernicus GmbH.



Abstract. Precipitation in the Upper Indus Basin is triggered by cross-barrier moisture transport. Winter precipitation events are particularly active in this region and are driven by an approaching upper troposphere Western Disturbance. Here statistical tools are used to decompose the winter precipitation timeseries into a wind and a moisture contribution. The relationship between each contribution and the Western Disturbances are investigated. We find that the wind contribution is not only related to the intensity of the upper troposphere disturbances but also to their thermal structure through baroclinic processes. Particularly, a short-lived baroclinic interaction between the Western Disturbance and the lower altitude cross-barrier flow occurs due to the shape of the relief. This interaction explains both the high activity of Western Disturbances in the area, as well as their quick decay as they move further east. We also revealed the existence of a moisture pathway from the Red Sea, to the Persian Gulf and the north of the Arabian Sea. A Western Disturbance strengthens this flow and steers it towards the Upper Indus Plain, particularly if it originates from a more southern latitude. In cases where the disturbance originates from the north-west, its impact on the moisture flow is limited, since the advected continental dry air drastically limits the precipitation output. The study offers a conceptual framework to study the synoptic activity of Western Disturbances as well as key parameters that explain their precipitation output. This can be used to investigate meso-scale processes or intra-seasonal to inter-annual synoptic activity.
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Date   2021-07-30
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