Multi-decadal classification of synoptic weather types, observed trends and links to rainfall characteristics over Saudi Arabia

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/336792
Title:
Multi-decadal classification of synoptic weather types, observed trends and links to rainfall characteristics over Saudi Arabia
Authors:
El Kenawy, Ahmed M. ( 0000-0001-6639-6253 ) ; McCabe, Matthew ( 0000-0002-1279-5272 ) ; Stenchikov, Georgiy L. ( 0000-0001-9033-4925 ) ; Raj, Jerry
Abstract:
An automated version of the Lamb weather type classification scheme was employed to characterize daily circulation conditions in Saudi Arabia from 1960 to 2005. Daily gridded fields of sea level pressure (SLP) from both the NCEP/NCAR and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) reanalysis data (ERA40) were used as input data for this classification. The output catalog included 10 basic types, which describe the direction and vorticity of airflow in the region (i.e., cyclonic, anti-cyclonic, and directional). In general, our findings indicate that cyclonic (C) days represent the most frequent type among all days, with 69.2% of the annual count of days from 1960 to 2005, followed by SE directional flows (21%). It was also determined that airflows originating from the Indian Ocean (i.e., S, SE, and E) are more frequent than those from the Mediterranean and Red Seas (i.e., W, NW, and SW). The defined weather types were assessed for the presence of inter-annual and intra-annual trends using the Mann–Kendall tau statistic. The trend analysis suggests statistically significant changes in the frequencies of a majority of the weather types from 1960 to 2005. The relationship between the daily occurrence of rainfall and the frequency of individual weather types was also described using daily rainfall data from a network of 87 weather observatories. Results demonstrate that increasing frequencies of weather types connected to easterly inflows support higher precipitation amounts over the study domain. Characterizing the association between atmospheric circulation patterns and rainfall in Saudi Arabia is important for understanding potential impacts related to climate variability and also for developing circulation-based downscaling methods.
KAUST Department:
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division; Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Citation:
El Kenawy AM, McCabe MF, Stenchikov GL and Raj J (2014) Multi-decadal classification of synoptic weather types, observed trends and links to rainfall characteristics over Saudi Arabia. Front. Environ. Sci. 2:37. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2014.00037
Publisher:
Frontiers Media SA
Journal:
Frontiers in Environmental Science
Issue Date:
15-Sep-2014
DOI:
10.3389/fenvs.2014.00037
Type:
Article
ISSN:
2296-665X
Additional Links:
http://journal.frontiersin.org/journal/10.3389/fenvs.2014.00037/full
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division; Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorEl Kenawy, Ahmed M.en
dc.contributor.authorMcCabe, Matthewen
dc.contributor.authorStenchikov, Georgiy L.en
dc.contributor.authorRaj, Jerryen
dc.date.accessioned2014-12-07T14:09:44Z-
dc.date.available2014-12-07T14:09:44Z-
dc.date.issued2014-09-15en
dc.identifier.citationEl Kenawy AM, McCabe MF, Stenchikov GL and Raj J (2014) Multi-decadal classification of synoptic weather types, observed trends and links to rainfall characteristics over Saudi Arabia. Front. Environ. Sci. 2:37. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2014.00037en
dc.identifier.issn2296-665Xen
dc.identifier.doi10.3389/fenvs.2014.00037en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/336792en
dc.description.abstractAn automated version of the Lamb weather type classification scheme was employed to characterize daily circulation conditions in Saudi Arabia from 1960 to 2005. Daily gridded fields of sea level pressure (SLP) from both the NCEP/NCAR and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) reanalysis data (ERA40) were used as input data for this classification. The output catalog included 10 basic types, which describe the direction and vorticity of airflow in the region (i.e., cyclonic, anti-cyclonic, and directional). In general, our findings indicate that cyclonic (C) days represent the most frequent type among all days, with 69.2% of the annual count of days from 1960 to 2005, followed by SE directional flows (21%). It was also determined that airflows originating from the Indian Ocean (i.e., S, SE, and E) are more frequent than those from the Mediterranean and Red Seas (i.e., W, NW, and SW). The defined weather types were assessed for the presence of inter-annual and intra-annual trends using the Mann–Kendall tau statistic. The trend analysis suggests statistically significant changes in the frequencies of a majority of the weather types from 1960 to 2005. The relationship between the daily occurrence of rainfall and the frequency of individual weather types was also described using daily rainfall data from a network of 87 weather observatories. Results demonstrate that increasing frequencies of weather types connected to easterly inflows support higher precipitation amounts over the study domain. Characterizing the association between atmospheric circulation patterns and rainfall in Saudi Arabia is important for understanding potential impacts related to climate variability and also for developing circulation-based downscaling methods.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherFrontiers Media SAen
dc.relation.urlhttp://journal.frontiersin.org/journal/10.3389/fenvs.2014.00037/fullen
dc.rightsThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.en
dc.subjectweather typesen
dc.subjectdirectional flowsen
dc.subjectdaily rainfallen
dc.subjectcirculation patternsen
dc.subjectextremesen
dc.subjectSaudi Arabiaen
dc.titleMulti-decadal classification of synoptic weather types, observed trends and links to rainfall characteristics over Saudi Arabiaen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Divisionen
dc.contributor.departmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)en
dc.identifier.journalFrontiers in Environmental Scienceen
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Geography, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypten
dc.contributor.affiliationKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)en
kaust.authorEl Kenawy, Ahmed M.en
kaust.authorMcCabe, Matthewen
kaust.authorStenchikov, Georgiy L.en
kaust.authorRaj, Jerryen
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