Seasonal climate influences on the timing of the Australian monsoon onset Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The timing of the first monsoon burst of the season, or; the monsoon onset, can be a critical piece of information for agriculture,; fire management, water management, and emergency response in monsoon regions.; Why do some monsoon seasons start earlier or later than others? Previous; research has investigated the impact of climate influences such as the El; Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on monsoon variability, but most; studies have considered only the impact on rainfall and not the timing of; the onset. While this question could be applied to any monsoon system,; this research presented in this paper has focused on the Australian monsoon.; Even with the wealth of research available on the variability of the; Australian monsoon season, the timing of the monsoon onset is one aspect of; seasonal variability that still lacks skilful seasonal prediction. To help; us better understand the influence of large-scale climate drivers on; monsoon onset timing, we recreated 11 previously published Australian; monsoon onset datasets and extended these to all cover the same period from; the 1950/1951 through the 2020/2021 Australian wet seasons. The extended; datasets were then tested for correlations with several standard climate; indices to identify which climate drivers could be used as predictors for; monsoon onset timing. The results show that many of the relationships; between monsoon onset dates and ENSO that were previously published are not; as strong when considering the extended datasets. Only a strong La Niña; pattern usually has an impact on monsoon onset timing, while ENSO-neutral; and El Niño patterns lacked a similar relationship. Detrended Indian; Ocean Dipole (IOD) data showed a weak relationship with monsoon onset dates,; but when the trend in the IOD data is retained, the relationship with onset; dates diminishes. Other patterns of climate variability showed little; relationship with Australian monsoon onset dates. Since ENSO is a tropical; climate process with global impacts, it is prudent to further re-examine its; influences in other monsoon regions too, with the aim to evaluate and; improve previously established prediction methodologies.;

publication date

  • June 11, 2021

Date in CU Experts

  • June 17, 2021 1:14 AM

Full Author List

  • Lisonbee J; Ribbe J

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2698-4016

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 489

end page

  • 506


  • 2


  • 2