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Monsoon Prediction

Monsoon Prediction

November 14, 2018

WHOI scientists are working in the Indian Ocean to gain new insights into forecasting monsoons—the seasonal, heavy rain storms that billions of people on the Indian subcontinent depend upon to irrigate their crops. This illustration shows how widespread rainfall over land (#1) is just one piece in the monsoon circulation, essentially a mammoth loop over the equator. Winds play a critical role (#2), picking up moisture and energy from the prominent source of all the rainwater: the ocean. As these humid winds rise (#3), the moisture condenses into clouds that generate heavy rain, releasing latent heat into the dried-out air. As the rising air expands and heads back out to sea, it lowers the surface pressure, accelerating the entire monsoon circulation (#4), bringing more rain. (Illustration by Gualtiero Spiro Jaeger, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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