The monsoon trough is a portion of the Intertropical Convergence Zone in the Western Pacific,as depicted by a line on a weather map showing the locations of minimum sea level pressure, and as such, is a convergence zone between the wind patterns of the southern and northern hemispheres.
Westerly monsoon winds lie in its equatorward portion while easterly trade winds exist poleward of the trough.Right along its axis, heavy rains can be found which usher in the peak of a location's respective rainy season. As it passes poleward of a location, hot and dry conditions develop. The monsoon trough plays a role in creating many of the world's rainforests.
The term monsoon trough is most commonly used in monsoonal regions of the Western Pacific such as Asia and Australia. The migration of the ITCZ/monsoon trough into a landmass heralds the beginning of the annual rainy season during summer months. Depressions and tropical cyclones often form in the vicinity of the monsoon trough, with each capable of producing a year's worth of rainfall in a matter of days.
Monsoon troughing in the western Pacific reaches its zenith in latitude during the late summer when the wintertime surface ridge in the opposite hemisphere is the strongest. It can reach as far as the 40th parallel in East Asia during August and the 20th parallel in Australia during February. Its poleward progression is accelerated by the onset of the summer monsoon which is characterized by the development of lower air pressure over the warmest part of the various continents.In the Southern Hemisphere, the monsoon trough associated with the Australian monsoon reaches its most southerly latitude in February, oriented along a west-northwest/east-southeast axis.
Increases in the relative vorticity, or spin, with the monsoon trough are normally a product of increased wind convergence within the convergence zone of the monsoon trough. Wind surges can lead to this increase in convergence. A strengthening or equatorward movement in the subtropical ridge can cause a strengthening of a monsoon trough as a wind surge moves towards the location of the monsoon trough. As fronts move through the subtropics and tropics of one hemisphere during their winter, normally as shear lines when their temperature gradient becomes minimal, wind surges can cross the equator in oceanic regions and enhance a monsoon trough in the other hemisphere's summer.A key way of detecting whether a wind surge has reached a monsoon trough is the formation of a burst of thunderstorms within the monsoon trough.
If a circulation forms within the monsoon trough, it is able to compete with the neighboring thermal low over the continent, and a wind surge will occur at its periphery. Such a circulation which is broad in nature within a monsoon trough is known as a monsoon depression. In the Northern Hemisphere, monsoon depressions are generally asymmetric, and tend to have their strongest winds on their eastern periphery.Light and variable winds cover a large area near their center, while bands of showers and thunderstorms develop within their area of circulation.
The presence of an upper level jet stream poleward and west of the system can enhance its development by leading to increased diverging air aloft over the monsoon depression, which leads to a corresponding drop in surface pressure.Even though these systems can develop over land, the outer portions of monsoon depressions are similar to tropical cyclones. In India, for example, 6 to 7 monsoon depressions move across the country yearly, and their numbers within the Bay of Bengal increase during July and August of El Niño events. Monsoon depressions are efficient rainfall producers, and can generate a year's worth of rainfall when they move through drier areas, such as the outback of Australia.
Since the monsoon trough is an area of convergence in the wind pattern, and an elongated area of low pressure at the surface, the trough focuses low level moisture and is defined by one or more elongated bands of thunderstorms when viewing satellite imagery. Its abrupt movement to the north between May and June is coincident with the beginning of the monsoon regime and rainy seasons across South and East Asia. This convergence zone has been linked to prolonged heavy rain events in the Yangtze river as well as northern China.Its presence has also been linked to the peak of the rainy season in locations within Australia. As it progresses poleward of a particular location, clear, hot, and dry conditions develop as winds become westerly. Many of the world's rainforests are associated with these climatological low-pressure systems.
A monsoon trough is a significant genesis region for tropical cyclones. Vorticity-rich low level environments, with significant low level spin, lead to a better than average chance of tropical cyclone formation due to their inherent rotation. This is because a pre-existing near-surface disturbance with sufficient spin and convergence is one of the six requirements for tropical cyclogenesis. weeks of activity followed by 2–3 weeks of inactivity. Tropical cyclones can form in outbreaks around these features under special circumstances, tending to follow the next cyclone to its poleward and west.There appears to be a 15- to 25-day cycle in thunderstorm activity associated with the monsoon trough, which is roughly half the wavelength of the Madden–Julian oscillation, or MJO. This mirrors tropical cyclone genesis near these features, as genesis clusters in 2–3
Whenever the monsoon trough on the eastern side of the summertime Asian monsoon is in its normal orientation (oriented east-southeast to west-northwest), tropical cyclones along its periphery will move with a westward motion. If it reverses its orientation, orienting southwest to northeast, tropical cyclones will move more poleward. Tropical cyclone tracks with S-shapes tend to be associated with reverse-oriented monsoon troughs. degrees north.The South Pacific convergence zone and South American convergence zones are generally reverse oriented. The failure of the monsoon trough, or the ITCZ, to move south of the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean during the southern hemisphere summer, is considered one of the factors causing tropical cyclones to not normally form in those regions. It has also been noted that when the monsoon trough lies near 20 degrees north latitude in the Pacific, the frequency of tropical cyclones is 2 to 3 times greater than when it lies closer to 10
In meteorology, a cyclone is a large scale air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. Cyclones are characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure. The largest low-pressure systems are polar vortices and extratropical cyclones of the largest scale. Warm-core cyclones such as tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones also lie within the synoptic scale. Mesocyclones, tornadoes, and dust devils lie within smaller mesoscale. Upper level cyclones can exist without the presence of a surface low, and can pinch off from the base of the tropical upper tropospheric trough during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere. Cyclones have also been seen on extraterrestrial planets, such as Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune. Cyclogenesis is the process of cyclone formation and intensification. Extratropical cyclones begin as waves in large regions of enhanced mid-latitude temperature contrasts called baroclinic zones. These zones contract and form weather fronts as the cyclonic circulation closes and intensifies. Later in their life cycle, extratropical cyclones occlude as cold air masses undercut the warmer air and become cold core systems. A cyclone's track is guided over the course of its 2 to 6 day life cycle by the steering flow of the subtropical jet stream.
Surface weather analysis is a special type of weather map that provides a view of weather elements over a geographical area at a specified time based on information from ground-based weather stations.
Horse latitudes, subtropical ridges or subtropical highs are the subtropical latitudes between 30 and 35 degrees both north and south where Earth's atmosphere is dominated by the subtropical high, an area of high pressure, which suppresses precipitation and cloud formation, and has variable winds mixed with calm winds.
An anticyclone is a weather phenomenon defined by the United States National Weather Service's glossary as "a large-scale circulation of winds around a central region of high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere". Effects of surface-based anticyclones include clearing skies as well as cooler, drier air. Fog can also form overnight within a region of higher pressure. Mid-tropospheric systems, such as the subtropical ridge, deflect tropical cyclones around their periphery and cause a temperature inversion inhibiting free convection near their center, building up surface-based haze under their base. Anticyclones aloft can form within warm core lows such as tropical cyclones, due to descending cool air from the backside of upper troughs such as polar highs, or from large scale sinking such as the subtropical ridge. The evolution of an anticyclone depends upon variables such as its size, intensity, and extent of moist convection, as well as the Coriolis force.
The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms because of its monotonous, windless weather, is the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge. It encircles Earth near the thermal equator, though its specific position varies seasonally. When it lies near the geographic Equator, it is called the near-equatorial trough. Where the ITCZ is drawn into and merges with a monsoonal circulation, it is sometimes referred to as a monsoon trough, a usage more common in Australia and parts of Asia.
A low-pressure area, low, low area or low is a region on the topographic map where the air pressure is lower than that of surrounding locations. Low-pressure systems form under areas of wind divergence that occur in the upper levels of the atmosphere. The formation process of a low-pressure area is known as cyclogenesis. Within the field of meteorology, atmospheric divergence aloft occurs in two areas. The first area is on the east side of upper troughs, which form half of a Rossby wave within the Westerlies. A second area of wind divergence aloft occurs ahead of embedded shortwave troughs, which are of smaller wavelength. Diverging winds aloft ahead of these troughs cause atmospheric lift within the troposphere below, which lowers surface pressures as upward motion partially counteracts the force of gravity.
The synoptic scale in meteorology is a horizontal length scale of the order of 1000 kilometers or more. This corresponds to a horizontal scale typical of mid-latitude depressions. Most high- and low-pressure areas seen on weather maps are synoptic-scale systems, driven by the location of Rossby waves in their respective hemisphere. Low-pressure areas and their related frontal zones occur on the leading edge of a trough within the Rossby wave pattern, while high-pressure areas form on the back edge of the trough. Most precipitation areas occur near frontal zones. The word synoptic is derived from the Greek word συνοπτικός, meaning seen together.
The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow predominantly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere, strengthening during the winter and when the Arctic oscillation is in its warm phase. Trade winds have been used by captains of sailing ships to cross the world's oceans for centuries and enabled colonial expansion into the Americas and trade routes to become established across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The westerlies, anti-trades, or prevailing westerlies, are prevailing winds from the west toward the east in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude. They originate from the high-pressure areas in the horse latitudes and trend towards the poles and steer extratropical cyclones in this general manner. Tropical cyclones which cross the subtropical ridge axis into the westerlies recurve due to the increased westerly flow. The winds are predominantly from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and from the northwest in the Southern Hemisphere.
A tropical wave, in and around the Atlantic Ocean, is a type of atmospheric trough, an elongated area of relatively low air pressure, oriented north to south, which moves from east to west across the tropics, causing areas of cloudiness and thunderstorms. Tropical waves form in the easterly flow along the equatorward side of the subtropical ridge or belt of high air pressure which lies north and south of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Tropical waves are generally carried westward by the prevailing easterly winds along the tropics and subtropics near the equator. They can lead to the formation of tropical cyclones in the north Atlantic and northeastern Pacific basins. A tropical wave study is aided by Hovmöller diagrams, a graph of meteorological data.
A pressure system is a relative peak or lull in the sea level pressure distribution. The surface pressure at sea level varies minimally, with the lowest value measured 87 kilopascals (26 inHg) and the highest recorded 108.57 kilopascals (32.06 inHg). High- and low-pressure systems evolve due to interactions of temperature differentials in the atmosphere, temperature differences between the atmosphere and water within oceans and lakes, the influence of upper-level disturbances, as well as the amount of solar heating or radiationized cooling an area receives. Pressure systems cause weather to be experienced locally. Low-pressure systems are associated with clouds and precipitation that minimize temperature changes throughout the day, whereas high-pressure systems normally associate with dry weather and mostly clear skies with larger diurnal temperature changes due to greater radiation at night and greater sunshine during the day. Pressure systems are analyzed by those in the field of meteorology within surface weather maps.
The South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), a reverse-oriented monsoon trough, is a band of low-level convergence, cloudiness and precipitation extending from the Western Pacific Warm Pool at the maritime continent south-eastwards towards French Polynesia and as far as the Cook Islands. The SPCZ is a portion of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which lies in a band extending east-west near the Equator but can be more extratropical in nature, especially east of the International Date Line. It is considered the largest and most important piece of the ITCZ, and has the least dependence upon heating from a nearby landmass during the summer than any other portion of the monsoon trough. The SPCZ can affect the precipitation on Polynesian islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, so it is important to understand how the SPCZ behaves with large-scale, global climate phenomenon, such as the ITCZ, El Niño–Southern Oscillation, and the Interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), a portion of the Pacific decadal oscillation.
A weather front is a boundary separating two masses of air of different densities, and is the principal cause of meteorological phenomena outside the tropics. In surface weather analyses, fronts are depicted using various colored triangles and half-circles, depending on the type of front. The air masses separated by a front usually differ in temperature and humidity.
A mesoscale convective system (MCS) is a complex of thunderstorms that becomes organized on a scale larger than the individual thunderstorms but smaller than extratropical cyclones, and normally persists for several hours or more. A mesoscale convective system's overall cloud and precipitation pattern may be round or linear in shape, and include weather systems such as tropical cyclones, squall lines, lake-effect snow events, polar lows, and Mesoscale Convective Complexes (MCCs), and generally forms near weather fronts. The type that forms during the warm season over land has been noted across North America, Europe, and Asia, with a maximum in activity noted during the late afternoon and evening hours.
A trough is an elongated (extended) region of relatively low atmospheric pressure, often associated with fronts. Troughs may be at the surface, or aloft, or both under various conditions. Most troughs bring clouds, showers, and a wind shift, particularly following the passage of the trough. This results from convergence or "squeezing" which forces lifting of moist air behind the trough line.
The 1984 Pacific typhoon season has no official bounds, but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between May and November. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Tropical Storms formed in the entire west pacific basin were assigned a name by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Tropical depressions that enter or form in the Philippine area of responsibility are assigned a name by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA. This can often result in the same storm having two names.
The 1981 Pacific typhoon season was a slightly above average season that produced 29 tropical storms, 13 typhoons and two intense typhoons. The season ran throughout 1981, though most tropical cyclones typically develop between May and October. The season's first named storm, Freda, developed on March 12 while the final storm, Lee, dissipated on December 29. Tropical cyclones only accounted for 12 percent of the rainfall in Hong Kong this season, the lowest percentage for the protectorate since 1972.
Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are low-pressure areas which, along with the anticyclones of high-pressure areas, drive the weather over much of the Earth. Extratropical cyclones are capable of producing anything from cloudiness and mild showers to heavy gales, thunderstorms, blizzards, and tornadoes. These types of cyclones are defined as large scale (synoptic) low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth. In contrast with tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones produce rapid changes in temperature and dew point along broad lines, called weather fronts, about the center of the cyclone.
An upper tropospheric cyclonic vortex is a vortex, or a circulation with a definable center, that usually moves slowly from east-northeast to west-southwest and is prevalent across Northern Hemisphere's warm season. Its circulations generally do not extend below 6,080 metres (19,950 ft) in altitude, as it is an example of a cold-core low. A weak inverted wave in the easterlies is generally found beneath it, and it may also be associated with broad areas of high-level clouds. Downward development results in an increase of cumulus clouds and the appearance of circulation at ground level. In rare cases, a warm-core cyclone can develop in its associated convective activity, resulting in a tropical cyclone and a weakening and southwest movement of the nearby upper tropospheric cyclonic vortex. Symbiotic relationships can exist between tropical cyclones and the upper level lows in their wake, with the two systems occasionally leading to their mutual strengthening. When they move over land during the warm season, an increase in monsoon rains occurs.
Earth rainfall climatology Is the study of rainfall, a sub-field of Meteorology. Formally, a wider study includes water falling as ice crystals, i.e. hail, sleet, snow.