Western Mediterranean cyclones and heavy rain. Part 2: Statistical approach



This is the second part (statistical approach) of a work concerning the relationship between heavy rain and cyclonic centres in the western Mediterranean. Using a statistical approach we seek to verify the indirect role of the cyclone centres in locating, triggering or focusing heavy rain: a cyclonic centre –even if neither strong nor deep –may contribute to the low-level flow organisation and so to the creation or intensification of a low-level warm and wet current that can feed and sustain convective rain in favourable environmental conditions. The foundation for the statistical approach is several Several databases maintained and updated by the Spanish Institute of Meteorology (INM). These databases of cyclonic centres, heavy rain and strong wind events, and mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), all covering the western Mediterranean or part thereof, can be cross-referenced by looking for simultaneity between heavy rain events (or MCSs) and cyclone centres in the vicinity. We have found that in most of the heavy rain events (around 90%) there is a cyclonic centre in the vicinity, usually located so that its presence favours the creation or intensification of a feeding flow of Mediterranean air towards the area affected by heavy rain. The same occurs with the MCSs. Copyright © 2001 Royal Meteorological Society