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Atmospheric precursors for intense summer rainfall over the UK

Allan, R., Blenkinsop, S., Fowler, H. J. and Champion, A. J. (2020) Atmospheric precursors for intense summer rainfall over the UK. International Journal of Climatology, 40 (8). pp. 3849-3867. ISSN 0899-8418

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/joc.6431

Abstract/Summary

Intense sub‐daily summer rainfall is linked to flooding impacts in the UK. Characterizing the atmospheric conditions prior to the rainfall event can improve understanding of the large‐scale mechanisms involved. The most intense sub‐daily rainfall intensity data generated from rain gauge records across the UK over the period 1979‐2014 are combined with fields from the ERA Interim reanalysis to characterize atmospheric conditions prior to heavy rainfall events. The 200 most intense 3‐hourly events for six UK regions are associated with negative anomalies in sea level pressure (< –2 hPa) and 200hPa geopotential height (<–60m) to the west or south west of the UK 1 day earlier, with above average moisture, evaporation and dewpoint temperature over north west Europe. Atmospheric precursors are more intense but less coherent between regions for composites formed of the 25 heaviest rainfall events but all display substantial moisture transport from the south or south east prior to their occurrence. Composites for the heaviest events are characterised by a tripole geopotential anomaly pattern across the north Atlantic. Above average geopotential height and dewpoint temperature over Newfoundland and below average geopotential height but elevated evaporation in the north Atlantic are found to be weakly associated with an increased chance of the most intense sub‐daily rainfall events 5 to 9 days later.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:88032
Publisher:Wiley

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