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Tavousi T, HamidianPour M, Dahani R. A Study of Temporal Variations and Spatial Analysis of Thunderstorms and their relation with ENSO. Journal of Spatial Analysis Environmental Hazards 2017; 4 (3) :17-34
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-2747-en.html
1- , mhamidianpour@gep.usb.ac.ir
Abstract:   (4274 Views)
Thunderstorms are one of the most important, abundant and severe atmospheric hazards. In addition to destroying a large amount of agricultural products and construction projects, cause many human casualties are annually in different parts of the world (Iran Pour and et al, 2015). This phenomenon is associated with severe storms, showery precipitation, hail (Puranik and Karekar, 2004), and thunder and lightning (Nath et al, 2009). These storms occur 50,000 times on a daily Basis. They account for 18,000,000 yearly (Ahrens, 2009). Extensive studies have been conducted in Iran and the world in this regard. For example, Wallace (1995) examined the abundance of lightning in the United States using 100 stations. He concluded that the greatest frequency of convectional showers occurs early in the night and at least at midnight. Sterling (2003) described the thunderstorms as a major dilemma for the United States in the twentieth century. The environmental and economic consequences of thunderstorms and their associated phenomena such as floods, hail and heavy precipitation are believed to be very ruinous on the US economy. Sistan and Baluchistan Province, Iran has annually been witnessing a variety of thunderstorms systems and associated precipitation. The province has suffered lots of damage resulted from the phenomena caused by thunderstorms. Therefore, this article aimed for a spatial analysis and the frequency of thunderstorm occurrences at different time scales. The article also examines the temporal variations and trends. The secondary questions outlined here are as follows: At what time of day do thunderstorms occur? How are thunderstorms recorded as various codes? Which one of these codes is the most commonly reported one? In terms of location, what are the stations with the greatest and least number of thunderstorms?
The area under study is Sistan and Baluchistan Province, Iran. With an area of almost 187,502 km2, the province is located in the southeastern part of Iran, on the Oman Sea coast and in the vicinity of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The province has 300 km water border with the Oman Sea in south, 1100 km land border with Pakistan and Afghanistan to the East, Khorasan Province to the North, and Kerman and Hormozgan to the West (Ebrahim Zadeh, 2009).
In this study, the frequency of thunderstorms was extracted based on 7 synoptic stations and the used of Presence Weather Codes. Temporal variations were then studied using the Man-Kendal and Sen's non-parametric tests. Finally, the relationship between the thunderstorms and ENSO was investigated. Meanwhile, spatial dispersion was also taken into account.
The results showed that thunderstorms have a peak region in southeast part with the center of the Saravan and Iranshahr stations and a minimum area in the Oman Sea coasts (Konarak and Chabahar). More precisely, Saravan Station scored the top with 567 thunders and lightning, while Konarak Station hit the lowest point with 96 in this 30-year period. In the maximum thunderstorm region, Saravan and Iranshahr are the main centers during different seasons so that the number of thunderstorms is higher in summer and fall in Iranshahr compared to Saravan. In winter and fall, such thunderstorms, caused by extra-tropical origin, are more in Saravan than Iranshahr Station.
The results of hourly investigations of thunderstorms showed that most of thunderstorms occur at noon and 3:00 p.m. Codes 13 and 17 were the most frequently reported codes with 605 and 571 occurrences, respectively, Codes 99 and 5 were the least. Monthly investigations showed that May and March had the highest number of thunderstorms (322 and 317, respectively), while September accounted for the least number (55). Quarterly investigations showed that spring had the highest number of thunderstorms (756) followed by winter (559). These thunderstorms are seen in spring more than other seasons because of the passage of extra-tropical air masses, which is abundant in the region under study. Summer, which is the Sub-tropical High pressure (STHP) season, had the least number of thunderstorms (340 occurrences of thunder and lightning). These thunderstorms mainly occur in Iranshahr and Saravan Stations, which was proven in the spatial analysis. The summer incidence increase of the thunderstorms is rooted in the Monsoon systems, preparing the ground for the phenomenon. The temporal variations at different monthly, quarterly, and yearly scales showed that no significant differences are found in thunderstorm trends. The phenomenon has experienced enormous fluctuations, likely to be associated with complex changes of macro-climate patterns. El Nino and the Lanino are likely to be the main factors affecting the ENSO's warm and cold phases. According to the results, almost 70% of thunderstorms are associated with the El Nino. In other words, more thunderstorms are expected during ENSO's warm phase.      
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2017/12/21 | Accepted: 2017/12/21 | Published: 2017/12/21

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