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Open AccessArticle

Diurnal Variation of Rainfall in a Tropical Coastal Region with Complex Orography

1
Grupo de Climatología Aplicada, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa-Enríquez, Veracruz 91090, Mexico
2
Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY 12203, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100604
Received: 16 August 2019 / Revised: 11 September 2019 / Accepted: 13 September 2019 / Published: 7 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Atmosphere: Climatology and Meteorology)
We examined the diurnal cycle of the rainfall in a coastal tropical mountainous region in central Veracruz State, Mexico (18°–21° N, 95.5°–98.5° W), featuring a striking topographic gradient running from sea level at the Gulf of Mexico coast to 5000 m above sea level (m.a.s.l.) in less than 100 km horizontal distance. During the summer, this unique location leads to regular the interaction between the easterly moisture inflow and the mountainous barrier. Over the complex terrain, forced ascent leads the occurrence of maximum rainfall during the afternoon (16–19 local time, LT ≈ 1½ hours ahead of solar time in summer), first along the slope and later over the coast. Along the coastal plain, the precipitation continues until the early morning consistent with there being convergence between land breezes and the trade winds. Observations obtained during a measurement campaign from 28 June to 3 July 2015, indicate that during the early evening downslope winds move against easterly flow, likely due to katabatic outflows previously observed over the region. These features are confirmed using spatial (0.88°) and temporal (30 min) resolution CMORPH rainfall estimates, since we observed evening episodes initiating along the slope during the afternoon (14–17 LT) moving later towards the coast. View Full-Text
Keywords: complex coastal topography; diurnal rainfall cycle; interacting local/regional wind systems complex coastal topography; diurnal rainfall cycle; interacting local/regional wind systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pérez-Méndez, M.; Tejeda-Martínez, A.; Fitzjarrald, D.R. Diurnal Variation of Rainfall in a Tropical Coastal Region with Complex Orography. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 604.

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