Mid-Level Dry Air Intrusions over the southern Maritime Continent

Ashar Aslam, Juliane Schwendike, Simon Peatman, Cathryn Birch, Massimo Bollasina, Paul Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Patterns in extreme precipitation across the Maritime Continent in Southeast Asia are known to be modulated by many processes, from large-scale modes of variability such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation, to finer-scale mechanisms such as the diurnal cycle. Transient mid-level dry air intrusions are an example of a feature not extensively studied over the Maritime Continent, which has the potential to influence rainfall patterns. Here, we show that these dry air intrusions originate from upper-level disturbances along the subtropical jet. Mid-level cyclonic circulation anomalies northwest of Australia from December-February (DJF) intensify westerlies in the southern Maritime Continent, advecting dry air eastward. In contrast, mid-level anticyclonic circulation anomalies northwest of Australia from June-August (JJA) intensify southern Maritime Continent easterlies, advecting dry air westward. The resultant transport direction of associated air parcels is also dependent on the seasonal low-level monsoon circulation. Dry air intrusions are important in influencing low-level wind and rainfall patterns, suppressing rainfall over seas near the southern Maritime Continent in both seasons, as well as over southern Maritime Continent islands in DJF, and the Indian Ocean in JJA. In both seasons, there is enhanced rainfall to the east of the intrusion, where there is moist return flow to the extratropics. This study highlights the importance of synoptic-scale extratropical features in influencing meteorological patterns in the tropics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2023


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