Is an onset vortex important for monsoon onset over Kerala?
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Inter-annual variability in the formation of the mini warm pool [sea-surface temperature (SST) more than 30 degrees C] over the south eastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) and its role in the formation of the monsoon onset vortex (MOV) has been examined using two independent SST data sets. The role of SST, convection, integrated columnar water vapour and the low-level jet in the setting up of the monsoon onset over Kerala (MOK) is examined. It is found that the MOV which forms over the SEAS region upsets the delicate balance between convection, buildup of moisture and strengthening and deepening of the westerlies over the SEAS that is needed for the setting up of the MOK. Thus, the formation over the SEAS of an MOV is not necessarily conducive for MOK. Furthermore, it is shown that a mini warm pool over the southeastern Arabian Sea is not a sufficient condition for the formation of an MOV because such a warm pool is present over this region during most of the years, but an MOV does not necessarily form over there.
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