Exploring the upper ocean

Tandon Laboratory at UMass Dartmouth

Month: January 2024

Breakthrough Insights Emerged from MISO-BOB Campaign Aircraft Observations Over Indian Ocean

In a pioneering mission, a group of researchers (including Dr Amit Tandon) participating the Monsoon Intra-Seasonal Oscillations in the Bay of Bengal (MISO-BOB) field campaign, funded by the US Office of Naval Research, has provided groundbreaking insights into the tropical supercluster dynamics over the equatorial Indian Ocean.

In a study led by Dr Phadtare from University of Notre Dame, observations were collected using a WC-130J aircraft operated by Air Force’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, which delved into the heart of the action during the summer monsoon seasons of 2018 . Dropsonde observations revealed a captivating variance of zonal winds within the supercluster. The upper troposphere favored easterlies, while the lower troposphere exhibited prevailing westerlies, creating a unique atmospheric stratification just below the 0°C level.

Of particular interest was the cold pool at the center of the supercluster. It maintained a consistent easterly component, with the coldest temperatures registering a 2.5°C drop at the center. The depth of the cold pool varied, reaching its deepest at the rear/western end and shallower at the front/eastern end, measuring at around 300 meters. A key revelation was the identification of the level of free convection (LFC) at the front end. On the eastern flank, researchers observed zonal convergence between the westerlies within the supercluster and ambient easterlies at lower tropospheric levels. This suggested the uplifting of conditionally unstable air parcels above LFC due to convergence, rather than the influence of the cold pool.

Conversely, the western flank exhibited low-level zonal divergence, further supporting the concept of ‘self-similarity’ between mesoscale convective systems and large-scale waves.

The MISO-BOB campaign’s findings provide a leap forward in our understanding of monsoon intra-seasonal oscillations. The data obtained from these aircraft observations holds promise for refining climate models and advancing our ability to predict tropical weather patterns, contributing to more effective global weather predictions in the future.

More information about this article can be found here. Congratulations Dr Phadtare and team!


A schematic of the observations taken by the WC130J aircraft in the supercluster. (Adapted from Figure 10 of Phadtare et al. 2024)

Members of Tandon Lab participated in the Geophysical Flows: From the Field to the Lab- Workshop and Discussion Meeting

Sid with his poster

Dr. Amit Tandon and PhD students, Siddhant (Sid) Kerhalkar and Debarshi Sarkar, recently participated in the ‘Geophysical Flows: From the Field to the Lab- Workshop and Discussion Meeting’  at Chennai, India from January 05 to 09, 2024 (workshop) and January 10 to 12, 2024 (discussion meeting). This workshop and discussion meeting aimed to achieve two objectives: providing an improved understanding of the climate dynamics relevant to the Indian subcontinent to the scientific community actively engaged by the Geophysical Flows Lab at IIT Madras; and to train young scientists and researchers from across the globe, mentored by Indian and foreign researchers.

Debarshi with his poster

Sid and Dr. Tandon contributed to the discussion meeting with a presentation titled “Observations of Cyclone Biparjoy’s cold wake recovery”. Alongside participating in discussions, Sid and Debarshi presented posters on their research topics. Sid’s poster focused on “Lateral Gradients in Diurnal Warm Layers in the Bay of Bengal”, while Debarshi presented on “Air-Sea Reanalysis Flux Biases in the Arabian Sea: A Case Study from 2017-2018”. Additionally, both Sid and Debarshi were involved in group projects as a part of the workshop assigned by the group leaders and organizers. Sid worked on “Near-inertial Oscillations in the North Indian Ocean: A case study”, and Debarshi focused on “Evolution of SST Across Arabian Sea During May-June 2020”.

Sid and Debarshi are grateful to the workshop organizers for this opportunity. Their travel to attend this workshop were additionally funded by the various UMass Dartmouth travel grants as well as ONR.

Skip to toolbar