Volume 7, Issue 4 (2-2021)                   2021, 7(4): 65-88 | Back to browse issues page

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Rafati S. Investigation of Spatial Properties and Environmental - Synoptic Conditions of MCSs Formation Causing Flood in March 2019. Journal title 2021; 7 (4) :65-88
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3172-en.html
Sayed Jamaleddin University , Rafatisomayeh@gmail.com
Abstract:   (1759 Views)
Characteristics and atmospheric conditions of the Mesoscale Convective Systems causing floods (Case study: March 24 and 25, 2019)
Extended Abstract
Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs) are the convective precipitation structure that is most frequently associated with floods at mid-latitudes, mainly due to the high degree of organisation, which allows the structure to be maintained for a longer period of time and to become more extensive. Moreover, MCSs are an important link between atmospheric convection and larger-scale atmospheric circulation. Based on the results of previous studies, it can be claimed that Sudanese low pressure systems in many cases are the cause of the formation of MCSs, especially in southwestern Iran. Although many studies have been done in Iran on these systems and how they are formed, but the role of some environmental components of their formation and intensification, such as vertical wind shear, High and Low Level Jets (HLJ and LLJ) has received less attention. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the role of these factors in addition of the known factors that cause the formation of these systems. For this purpose, the flood of 24 and 25 march 2019 in the south and southwest of Iran has been selected as a case study.
To track and investigate the spatial characteristics of MCSs in this study, IR channel of the second-generation Meteosat imagery (MSG) on March 24 and 25, 2019, with a spatial resolution of 3 km and a temporal resolution of 15 minutes from Eumetsat site was extracted. After calibration and georeference of the images, the brightness temperature was calculated. The exact choice of temperature threshold for the identification of convective systems is optional and depends on the spatial resolution and wavelength of imagery. The size distribution obtained from the 207 or 218 k thresholds are not very different, especially for larger convection systems. Therefore, in this study, a threshold of 218 degrees Kelvin was used. Also, there is no agreement among researchers on the criterion of minimum length or area in the definition of MCSs, and this criterion is mostly determined by the characteristics of the region and the selected temperature threshold. In this study we select a threshold of 10 thousand square kilometers. In other words, the system was identified as MCSs, which at some point in life had an area of more than 10,000 square kilometers. The daily precipitation data of GPCC database were used to investigate the scattering of precipitation produced by these systems. Also, to understand the synoptic and environmental conditions of occurrence of MCSs on studied days, first geopotential height data, zonal and meridional wind components, potential temperature, relative humidity, vertical velocity and CAPE from ECMWF database were extracted and then the required maps and diagrams were prepared to synoptic and environmental analyses.
In general, the results of this study showed that three MCSs on March 24 and 25, 2019 affected different parts of Iran. The maximum area of ​​the cold core of the first system is about 73,000 square kilometers and has traveled from west to north of Iran. The second system, which affected Iran from the west to the northeast, had a maximum area of ​​about 660 thousand square kilometers. The cold core of the third quasi-stable system with a linear extension (northeast-southwest) and a maximum area of ​​about 440 thousand square kilometers, has moved slightly to the southeast.
The synoptic conditions of the formation of these systems have been the same as the common pattern of the formation of Sudanese low pressure systems and MCSs. In this pattern, Azores high pressure can bring the cold air of the high latitudes to the middle latitudes and hot and humid air is injected by the high pressure over the Oman Sea and the Arabian Sea, which activates the Red Sea convergence zone along with the Mediterranean system. These conditions have led to the formation of the minimum potential temperature zone in the eastern Mediterranean with significant temperature and pressure differences compared to its environment, resulting in the formation of LLJ. This LLJ has been very effective in transferring hot and humid air to western Iran. So that in the peak hours of convective activity in the center of Iran, a potential temperature difference of about 30 degrees Kelvin with the environment has created that has played an effective role in the formation of convective storms. The transfer of hot and humid air by the LLJ has led to the formation and continuation of convection and the release of latent heat to enhance the convergence and longer life of convection systems. On the other hand, the coupling of LLJ and HLJ, by strengthening the MCSs in the western part of Iran and strengthening the divergent flow at higher levels, has strengthened the HLJ, which in turn has led to strengthening the convective system. Vertical wind shear probably also led to the formation of new convective cells in areas far from the origin of the primary convective cells. During the peak hours, unstable convective activity was observed over a large part of Iran, especially the southern and western parts, and its maximum was observed from the southern half of the Red Sea along the convergence zone to the west of Iran.
Therefore, various components of the Sudanese low pressure system play an important role in the formation, continuity and development of mseoscale convective systems. It seems that low-level jet, vertical wind shear and its interaction with the Red Sea convergence zone and the outflow of primary convective cells have a very effective role in the occurrence of this phenomenon. Thus, more detailed studies of this issue using mesoscale numerical models will probably identify unknown aspects of Iran's climate.
Keywords: Extreme precipitation, High Level Jet, Low Level Jet, Vertical Wind shear, MSG Imagery.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2020/10/1 | Accepted: 2021/01/14 | Published: 2021/03/13

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