What are potential impacts of the Indian monsoons on Atlantic hurricanes?

The Indian monsoons, which are referred as lifeline of India, are found to have impact on the hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. The study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters has found this correlation.

Findings of the study:

  • Strong monsoons in the Indian Ocean can induce easterly winds that push Atlantic Ocean hurricanes westward. This can increase the likelihood of the hurricane in America.
  • The study shows that in years where summer rainstorms in India are stronger, Atlantic hurricanes move further westward towards land and in the years where the rains are not as strong, hurricanes tend to curve northward earlier and fizzle out in the north Atlantic Ocean.
  • Strong monsoons influence hurricane steering by enhancing the effects of the North Atlantic subtropical high which is a centre of high atmospheric pressure in the Atlantic Ocean. As the subtropical high increases, stronger winds come from the east and push hurricanes westward.
  • La Nina and the Indian monsoon are correlated. The strength of the monsoon influences the steering of hurricanes independently of La Nina fluctuations.
  • La Nina fluctuations may result in more Atlantic hurricanes, but strong Indian monsoons steer them further westward, making it more likely they will make landfall in the Americas.

This newly discovered relationship could help scientists better predict the path of oncoming hurricanes, especially in late summer months like September, when Atlantic hurricane activity peaks.


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