Positive response of Indian summer rainfall to Middle East dust

Qinjian Jin, Jiangfeng Wei, Zong-Liang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Using observational and reanalyses data, we investigated the impact of dust aerosols over the Middle East and the Arabian Sea (AS) on the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) rainfall. Satellite and aerosol reanalysis data show extremely heavy aerosol loading, mainly mineral dust, over the Middle East and AS during the ISM season. Multivariate empirical orthogonal function analyses suggest an aerosol-monsoon connection. This connection may be attributed to dust-induced atmospheric heating centered over the Iranian Plateau (IP), which enhances the meridional thermal contrast and strengthens the ISM circulation and rainfall. The enhanced circulation further transports more dust to the AS and IP, heating the atmosphere (positive feedback). The aerosols over the AS and the Arabian Peninsula have a significant correlation with rainfall over central and eastern India about 2 weeks later. This finding highlights the nonlocal radiative effect of dust on the ISM circulation and rainfall and may improve ISM rainfall forecasts. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4068-4074
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by the Dust Storms and Climate Change project of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The authors wish to thank Patricia Bobeck for proofreading.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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