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Title: Intra-annual variability of the Western Mediterranean Oscillation (WeMO) and occurrence of extreme torrential precipitation in Catalonia (NE Iberia)
Author: López Bustins, Joan Albert
Arbiol Roca, Laia
Martín Vide, Javier
Barrera Escoda, Antoni
Prohom, Marc
Keywords: Precipitacions (Meteorologia)
Clima mediterrani
Canvi climàtic
Precipitations (Meteorology)
Mediterranean climate
Climatic change
Issue Date: 18-Sep-2020
Publisher: European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Abstract: In previous studies the Western Mediterranean Oscillation index (WeMOi) at daily resolution has proven to constitute an effective tool for analysing the occurrence of episodes of torrential precipitation over eastern Spain. The western Mediterranean region is a very sensitive area, since climate change can enhance these weather extremes. In the present study we created a catalogue of the extreme torrential episodes (≥200 mm in 24 h) that took place in Catalonia (NE Iberia) during the 1951-2016 study period (66 years). We computed daily WeMOi values and constructed WeMOi calendars. Our principal result reveals the occurrence of 50 episodes (0.8 cases per year), mainly concentrated in the autumn. We confirmed a threshold of WeMOi ≤ −2 to define an extreme negative WeMO phase at daily resolution. Most of the 50 episodes (60 %) in the study area occurred on days presenting an extreme negative WeMOi value. Specifically, the most negative WeMOi values are detected in autumn, from 11 to 20 October, coinciding with the highest frequency of extreme torrential events. On comparing the subperiods, we observed a statistically significant decrease in WeMOi values in all months, particularly in late October and in November and December. No changes in the frequency of these extreme torrential episodes were observed between both subperiods. In contrast, a displacement of the extreme torrential episodes is detected from early to late autumn; this can be related to a statistically significant warming of sea temperature.
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It is part of: Natural Hazards And Earth System Sciences, 2020, vol. 20, num. 9, p. 2483-2501
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ISSN: 1561-8633
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Geografia)

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