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Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Indian Institute of Science Bangalore 560012,
The Bay of Bengal (BoB) plays a fundamental role in controlling the weather systems that make up the South Asian summer monsoon system. In particular, the southern BoB has cooler sea surface temperature (SST) that influence ocean–atmosphere interaction and impact on the monsoon. Compared to the southeast, the southwestern BoB is cooler, more saline, receives much less rain, and is influenced by the Summer Monsoon Current (SMC). To examine the impact of these features on the monsoon, the BoB Boundary Layer Experiment (BoBBLE) was jointly undertaken by India and the UK during June – July 2016. Physical and bio-geochemical observations were made using a CTD, five ocean gliders, a uCTD, a VMP, two ADCPs, Argo floats, drifting buoys, meteorological sensors and upper air radiosonde balloons. The observations were made along a zonal section at 8◦N between 85.3◦E and 89◦E with a 10-day time series at 89◦E, 8◦N. This paper presents the new observed features of the southern BoB from the BoBBLE field program, supported by satellite data. Key results from the BoBBLE field campaign show the Sri Lanka Dome and the SMC in different stages of their seasonal evolution and two freshening events during which salinity decreased in the upper layer leading to the formation of thick barrier layers. BoBBLE observations were taken during a suppressed phase of the intraseasonal oscillation; they captured in detail the warming of the ocean mixed layer and preconditioning of the atmosphere to convection.