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This study investigates the climatology of the monsoon break following the onset of the summer rainy season over Luzon Island (120–122.5°E, 13–22°N) in the Philippines from 1979–2017. The first post-onset monsoon break is remarkable in stations located over the north and central Luzon Island and occurs climatologically in early June. Composite analysis of the large-scale circulation features during the monsoon break period shows that this break is associated with the westward extension of the western North Pacific Subtropical High (WNPSH), which weakened the monsoon southwesterlies and induced enhanced low-level divergence over Luzon Island. The westward extension of the WNPSH may be facilitated by the phase change of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO). About 59% (23/39) of the monsoon break cases occurred when suppressed convection, associated with the dry phases of the BSISO, is apparent over the western North Pacific. This suppressed convection favours the westward expansion of the WNPSH.

With the occurrence of the monsoon break in early summer, the seasonal march of the early summer monsoon over the Philippines can be divided into three phases: (1) the monsoon onset phase, which occurs between mid to late May under the influence of the westerly/southwesterly low-level winds, (2) the monsoon break phase, when rainfall decreases over Luzon Island in early June, and (3) the monsoon revival phase, when rainfall increases again due to the intrusion of monsoon southwesterlies over the Philippines. This study highlights the complex features of the summer monsoon onset and the impact of the WNPSH on the local climate of the Philippines in early summer.