Strengthened Indian Summer Monsoon Precipitation Susceptibility Linked to Dust-Induced Ice Cloud Modification

Piyushkumar N. Patel, Ritesh Gautam, Takuro Michibata, Harish Gadhavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A growing body of research has underscored the radiative impact of mineral dust in influencing Indian summer monsoon rainfall variability. However, the various aerosol-cloud-precipitation interaction mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we analyze multisatellite observations to examine dust-induced modification in ice clouds and precipitation susceptibility. We show contrasting dust-induced changes in ice cloud regimes wherein despite a 25% reduction in ice particle radius in thin ice clouds, we find ~40% increase in ice particle radius and ice water path in thick ice clouds resulting in the cloud deepening and subsequently strengthened precipitation susceptibility, under strong updraft regimes. The observed dust-ice cloud-precipitation interactions are supported by a strong correlation between the interannual monsoon rainfall variability and dust frequency. This microphysical-dynamical coupling appears to provide negative feedback to aerosol-cloud interactions, which acts to buffer enhanced aerosol wet scavenging. Our results underscore the importance of incorporating meteorological regime-dependent dust-ice cloud-precipitation interactions in climate simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8431-8441
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions
  • cloud invigoration
  • dust-ice cloud interactions
  • dynamical feedback
  • Indian Monsoon
  • satellite remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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