AbstractThe performance of the regional atmosphere-ocean coupled model ROM (REMO-OASIS-MPIOM) is compared with its atmospheric component REMO in simulating the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) during the time period 1980–2012 with the following results being obtained. (1) The REMO model in the standalone configuration with the prescribed sea surface conditions produces stronger low-level westerlies associated with the South Asian summer monsoon, an eastward shift of the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) and a wetter lower troposphere, which jointly lead to moisture pathways characterized by stronger westerlies with convergence eastward to the western North Pacific (WNP). As a consequence, the simulated precipitation in REMO is stronger over the ocean and weaker over the East Asian continent than in the observational datasets. (2) Compared with the REMO results, lower sea surface temperatures (SSTs) feature the ROM simulation with enhanced air-sea exchanges from the intensified low-level winds over the subtropical WNP, generating an anomalous low-level anticyclone and hence improving simulations of the low-level westerlies and WPSH. With lower SSTs, ROM produces less evaporation over the ocean, inducing a drier lower troposphere. As a result, the precipitation simulated by ROM is improved over the East Asian continent but with dry biases over the WNP. (3) Both models perform fairly well for the upper level circulation. In general, compared with the standalone REMO model, ROM improves simulations of the circulation associated with the moisture transport in the lower- to mid-troposphere and reproduces the observed EASM characteristics, demonstrating the advantages of the regionally coupled model ROM in regions where air-sea interactions are highly relevant for the East Asian climate.