Diagnosis and numerical simulations of a heavy rain event in the Western Mediterranean Basin
The heavy rain event of November 2001 in the western Mediterranean area was synoptically characterized by the presence of a long-lived Omega blocking geopotential pattern. A set of mesoscale numerical simulations using MM5 is performed to investigate the mechanisms responsible for the convection development through several output diagnosis. A potential vorticity evolution showed how dry air masses were extruded from the stratospheric levels promoting strong cyclonic circulation at all levels. Moreover, a deep vertical column of high relative humidity over the Algerian coastline maintained the few and geographically confined convective cells responsible for the heavy precipitation. Mesoscale environment parameters indicated enhanced conditional instability through a deep troposphere layer. Also, strong vertical wind shear values, higher than 50 ms –1 over the troposphere, were derived, indicating enough strength to promote necessary conditions to organize and keep mesoscale convective structures.