Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 13201-13217, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
21 Dec 2011
Analyzing coastal precipitation using TRMM observations
R. H. Heiblum, I. Koren, and O. Altaratz Department of Environmental Sciences, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel
Abstract. The interaction between breezes and synoptic gradient winds, and surface friction increase in transition from sea to land can create persistent convergence zones nearby coastlines. The low level convergence of moist air promotes the dynamical and microphysical processes responsible for the formation of clouds and precipitation.

Our work focuses on the winter seasons of 1998–2011 in the Eastern Mediterranean. During the winter the Mediterranean sea is usually warmer than the adjacent land, resulting in frequent occurrence of land breeze that opposes the common synoptic winds. Using rain-rate vertical profiles from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite, we examined the spatial and temporal distribution of average hydrometeor mass in clouds as a function of the distance from coastlines.

Results show that coastlines in the Eastern Mediterranean are indeed favored areas for precipitation formation. The intra-seasonal and diurnal changes in the distribution of hydrometeor mass indicate that the land breeze may likely be the main responsible mechanism behind our results.

Citation: Heiblum, R. H., Koren, I., and Altaratz, O.: Analyzing coastal precipitation using TRMM observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 13201-13217,, 2011.
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