Torrential rainfall in northeast of the Iberian Peninsula: synoptic patterns and WeMO influence
This study presents a catalogue of synoptic patterns of torrential rainfall in northeast of the Iberian Peninsula (IP). These circulation patterns were obtained by applying a T-mode Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to a daily data grid (NCEP/NCAR reanalysis) at sea level pressure (SLP). The analysis made use of 304 days which recorded >100 mm in one or more stations in provinces of Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona (coastland area of Catalonia) throughout the 1950–2005 period. The catalogue comprises 7 circulation patterns showing a great variety of atmospheric conditions and seasonal or monthly distribution. Likewise, we computed the mean index value of the Western Mediterranean Oscillation index (WeMOi) for the synoptic patterns obtained by averaging all days grouped in each pattern. The results showed a clear association between the negative values of this teleconnection index and torrential rainfall in northeast of the IP. We therefore put forward the WeMO as an essential tool for forecasting heavy rainfall in northeast of Spain.