Kantha Lakshmi

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  • Article
    A note on modeling mixing in the upper layers of the Bay of Bengal: importance of water type, water column structure and precipitation
    (Elsevier, 2019-04-29) Kantha, Lakshmi ; Weller, Robert A. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Rahaman, Hasibur ; Jampana, Venkata
    Turbulent mixing in the upper layers of the northern Bay of Bengal is affected by a shallow layer overlying the saline waters of the Bay, which results from the huge influx of freshwater from major rivers draining the Indian subcontinent and from rainfall over the Bay during the summer monsoon. The resulting halocline inhibits wind-driven mixing in the upper layers. The brackish layer also alters the optical properties of the water column. Air-sea interaction in the Bay is expected to play a significant role in the intraseasonal variability of summer monsoons over the Indian subcontinent, and as such the sea surface temperature (SST) changes during the summer monsoon are of considerable scientific and societal importance. In this study, data from the heavily instrumented Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) mooring, deployed at 18oN, 89.5oE in the northern Bay from December 2014 to January 2016, are used to drive a one-dimensional mixing model, based on second moment closure model of turbulence, to explore the intra-annual variability in the upper layers. The model results highlight the importance of the optical properties of the upper layers (and hence the penetration of solar insolation in the water column), as well as the temperature and salinity in the upper layers prescribed at the start of the model simulation, in determining the SST in the Bay during the summer monsoon. The heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon also plays an important role. The interseasonal and intraseasonal variability in the upper layers of the Bay are contrasted with those in the Arabian Sea, by the use of the same model but driven by data from an earlier deployment of a WHOI mooring in the Arabian Sea at 15.5 oN, 61.5 oE from December 1994 to December 1995.
  • Article
    Bay of Bengal intraseasonal oscillations and the 2018 monsoon onset
    (American Meteorological Society, 2021-10-01) Shroyer, Emily L. ; Tandon, Amit ; Sengupta, Debasis ; Fernando, Harindra J. S. ; Lucas, Andrew J. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Chattopadhyay, Rajib ; de Szoeke, Simon P. ; Flatau, Maria ; Rydbeck, Adam ; Wijesekera, Hemantha W. ; McPhaden, Michael J. ; Seo, Hyodae ; Subramanian, Aneesh C. ; Venkatesan, Ramasamy ; Joseph, Jossia K. ; Ramsundaram, S. ; Gordon, Arnold L. ; Bohman, Shannon M. ; Pérez, Jaynise ; Simoes-Sousa, Iury T. ; Jayne, Steven R. ; Todd, Robert E. ; Bhat, G. S. ; Lankhorst, Matthias ; Schlosser, Tamara L. ; Adams, Katherine ; Jinadasa, S. U. P. ; Mathur, Manikandan ; Mohapatra, Mrutyunjay ; Rama Rao, E. Pattabhi ; Sahai, Atul Kumar ; Sharma, Rashmi ; Lee, Craig ; Rainville, Luc ; Cherian, Deepak A. ; Cullen, Kerstin ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Hormann, Verena ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Send, Uwe ; Anutaliya, Arachaporn ; Waterhouse, Amy F. ; Black, Garrett S. ; Dehart, Jeremy A. ; Woods, Kaitlyn M. ; Creegan, Edward ; Levy, Gad ; Kantha, Lakshmi ; Subrahmanyam, Bulusu
    In the Bay of Bengal, the warm, dry boreal spring concludes with the onset of the summer monsoon and accompanying southwesterly winds, heavy rains, and variable air–sea fluxes. Here, we summarize the 2018 monsoon onset using observations collected through the multinational Monsoon Intraseasonal Oscillations in the Bay of Bengal (MISO-BoB) program between the United States, India, and Sri Lanka. MISO-BoB aims to improve understanding of monsoon intraseasonal variability, and the 2018 field effort captured the coupled air–sea response during a transition from active-to-break conditions in the central BoB. The active phase of the ∼20-day research cruise was characterized by warm sea surface temperature (SST > 30°C), cold atmospheric outflows with intermittent heavy rainfall, and increasing winds (from 2 to 15 m s−1). Accumulated rainfall exceeded 200 mm with 90% of precipitation occurring during the first week. The following break period was both dry and clear, with persistent 10–12 m s−1 wind and evaporation of 0.2 mm h−1. The evolving environmental state included a deepening ocean mixed layer (from ∼20 to 50 m), cooling SST (by ∼1°C), and warming/drying of the lower to midtroposphere. Local atmospheric development was consistent with phasing of the large-scale intraseasonal oscillation. The upper ocean stores significant heat in the BoB, enough to maintain SST above 29°C despite cooling by surface fluxes and ocean mixing. Comparison with reanalysis indicates biases in air–sea fluxes, which may be related to overly cool prescribed SST. Resolution of such biases offers a path toward improved forecasting of transition periods in the monsoon.