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Climate 2015, 3(3), 578-626; doi:10.3390/cli3030578

Rainfall: Features and Variations over Saudi Arabia, A Review

Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research, Deptment of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. Box 80208, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
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Received: 29 May 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 12 August 2015

Abstract

The Saudi Arabia (SA) climate varies greatly, depending on the geography and the season. According to K ppen and Geiger, the climates of SA is “desert climate”. The analysis of the seasonal rainfall detects that spring and winter seasons have the highestrainfall incidence, respectively. Through the summer,small quantities of precipitation are observed, while autumn received more precipitation more than summer season considering the total annual rainfall. In all seasons, the SW area receives rainfall, with a maximum in spring, whereas in the summer season, the NE and NW areas receive very little quantities of precipitation. The Rub Al-Khali (the SE region) is almost totally dry. The maximum amount of annual rainfall does not always happen at the highest elevation. Therefore, the elevation is not the only factor in rainfall distribution.A great inter-annual change in the rainfall over the SA for the period (1978–2009) is observed. In addition, in the same period, a linear decreasing trend is found in the observed rainfall, whilst in the recent past (1994–2009) a statistically significant negative trend is observed. In the Southern part of the Arabian Peninsula (AP) and along the coast of the Red Sea, it is interesting to note that rainfall increased, whilst it decreased over most areas of SA during the 2000–2009 decade, compared to 1980–1989.Statistical and numerical models are used to predict rainfall over Saudi Arabia (SA). The statistical models based on stochastic models of ARIMA and numerical models based on Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies of Hadley Centre (PRECIS). Climate and its qualitative character and quantified range of possible future changes are investigated. The annual total rainfall decreases in most regions of the SA and only increases in the south. The summertime precipitation will be the highest between other seasons over the southern, the southwestern provinces and Asir mountains, while the wintertime rainfall will remain the lowest.The climate in the SA is instructed by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and other circulations such as centers of high and low pressure, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and SOI. Strength and oscillation of subtropical jet stream play a big role in pulling hot, dry air masses of SA. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall; prediction; pressure system; Saudi Arabia; climate classification; climatic indices rainfall; prediction; pressure system; Saudi Arabia; climate classification; climatic indices
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hasanean, H.; Almazroui, M. Rainfall: Features and Variations over Saudi Arabia, A Review. Climate 2015, 3, 578-626.

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