Propagating Mechanisms of the 2016 Summer BSISO Event: Air-Sea Coupling, Vorticity, and Moisture

Shuguang Wang, Adam H. Sobel, Chia Ying Lee, Ding Ma, Shuyi Chen, Milan Curcic, Julie Pullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


During the summer of 2016, a boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) event was observed over Southeast Asia and the South China and Philippine seas. Precipitation anomalies associated with this event propagated northward at a speed of 0.5–1° per day from July to August. To understand the mechanisms, a regional atmosphere-ocean coupled system with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) is used to study this BSISO event. The 50-day-long coupled simulations reasonably capture large-scale northward propagation of the event. Coupled simulations with altered air-sea interaction and atmosphere-only simulations with prescribed sea surface temperature illuminate the insignificant role of air-sea interaction within the computation domain in the northward propagation the for this event. Diagnostics of the coupled simulation as well as the ECMWF-Interim reanalyses indicate that convection and barotropic vorticity are largely in phase north of 5°N during the event. The BSISO convection is accompanied by moisture anomalies whose magnitudes increase as the BSISO propagates northward. Analysis of the moisture budget shows that positive horizontal advection leads positive moisture anomalies on the intraseasonal time scale north of 10°N. The vorticity-convection relationship, the lead-lag relationship between moisture and its horizontal advection, and the latitude dependence of each for this BSISO event are consistent with general features of BSISO events composited with ECWMF-Interim reanalysis and satellite precipitation data sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JD033284
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Boreal Summer Intraseasonal Oscillation
  • Maritime Continent
  • Tropical convection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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