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Keywords:

  • IOD;
  • La Niña

[1] During 2006–2008, the Indian Ocean (IO) experienced a rare realization of three consecutive positive IO Dipoles (pIODs), including an unusual occurrence with a La Niña in 2007. Common to all three pIODs is an early excitation of equatorial easterly anomalies. Argo profiles reveal that for the 2008 and 2006 pIODs the wind anomalies are generated by the following process: upwelling Rossby waves propagating into the western IO and their subsequent reflection as equatorial upwelling Kelvin waves enhance the seasonal upwelling, changing sea surface temperature (SST) gradients. For the 2007 pIOD, coastal upwelling Kelvin waves off the Sumatra-Java coast associated with the 2006 pIOD/El Niño, radiate into the IO as upwelling Rossby waves. They curve sharply equatorward to arrive at the central equatorial IO, inducing easterly anomalies, upwelling Kelvin waves, and the unusual pIOD. Our results suggest that real-time Argo observations, when assimilated into predictive systems, will enhance IOD forecasting skills.