TITLE

Dynamical and Synoptic Characteristics of Heavy Rainfall Episodes in Southern Brazil

AUTHOR(S)
Teixeira, Mateus da Silva; Satyamurty, Prakki
PUB. DATE
February 2007
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Feb2007, Vol. 135 Issue 2, p598
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The dynamical and synoptic characteristics that distinguish heavy rainfall episodes from nonheavy rainfall episodes in southern Brazil are discussed. A heavy rainfall episode is defined here as one in which the 50 mm day-1 isohyet encloses an area of not less than 10 000 km2 in the domain of southern Brazil. One hundred and seventy such events are identified in the 11-yr period of 1991–2001. The mean flow patterns in the period of 1–3 days preceding the episodes show some striking synoptic-scale features that may be considered forerunners of these episodes: (i) a deepening midtropospheric trough in the eastern South Pacific approaches the continent 3 days before, (ii) a surface low pressure center forms in northern Argentina 1 day before, (iii) a northerly low-level jet develops over Paraguay 2 days before, and (iv) a strong moisture flux convergence over southern Brazil becomes prominent 1 day before the episode. A parameter called rainfall quantity, defined as the product of the area enclosed by the 50 mm day-1 isohyet and the average rainfall intensity, is correlated with fields of atmospheric variables such as 500-hPa geopotential and 850-hPa meridional winds. Significant lag correlations show that the anomalies of some atmospheric variables could be viewed as precursors of heavy rainfall in southern Brazil that can be explored for use in improving the forecasts.
ACCESSION #
23980406

 

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