Next Article in Journal
Indoor and Outdoor Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds and Health Risk Assessment in Residents Living near an Optoelectronics Industrial Park
Previous Article in Journal
Weather Based Strawberry Yield Forecasts at Field Scale Using Statistical and Machine Learning Models
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Using Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and Dew-Point Temperature to Characterize Rainfall-Extreme Events in the South-Central Andes

1
Institute of Geosciences, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
2
German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
3
Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science, Faculty VI, Technische Universität Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
4
CONICET, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Austral, LIDTUA (CIC), 1629 Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070379
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
  |  
PDF [27987 KB, uploaded 23 July 2019]
  |  

Abstract

The interactions between atmosphere and steep topography in the eastern south–central Andes result in complex relations with inhomogenous rainfall distributions. The atmospheric conditions leading to deep convection and extreme rainfall and their spatial patterns—both at the valley and mountain-belt scales—are not well understood. In this study, we aim to identify the dominant atmospheric conditions and their spatial variability by analyzing the convective available potential energy (CAPE) and dew-point temperature ( T d ). We explain the crucial effect of temperature on extreme rainfall generation along the steep climatic and topographic gradients in the NW Argentine Andes stretching from the low-elevation eastern foreland to the high-elevation central Andean Plateau in the west. Our analysis relies on version 2.0 of the ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-interim) data and TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) data. We make the following key observations: First, we observe distinctive gradients along and across strike of the Andes in dew-point temperature and CAPE that both control rainfall distributions. Second, we identify a nonlinear correlation between rainfall and a combination of dew-point temperature and CAPE through a multivariable regression analysis. The correlation changes in space along the climatic and topographic gradients and helps to explain controlling factors for extreme-rainfall generation. Third, we observe more contribution (or higher importance) of T d in the tropical low-elevation foreland and intermediate-elevation areas as compared to the high-elevation central Andean Plateau for 90th percentile rainfall. In contrast, we observe a higher contribution of CAPE in the intermediate-elevation area between low and high elevation, especially in the transition zone between the tropical and subtropical areas for the 90th percentile rainfall. Fourth, we find that the parameters of the multivariable regression using CAPE and T d can explain rainfall with higher statistical significance for the 90th percentile compared to lower rainfall percentiles. Based on our results, the spatial pattern of rainfall-extreme events during the past ∼16 years can be described by a combination of dew-point temperature and CAPE in the south–central Andes. View Full-Text
Keywords: eastern south–central Andes; extreme rainfall; deep convection; convective available potential energy; dew-point temperature eastern south–central Andes; extreme rainfall; deep convection; convective available potential energy; dew-point temperature
Figures

Figure 1

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ramezani Ziarani, M.; Bookhagen, B.; Schmidt, T.; Wickert, J.; de la Torre, A.; Hierro, R. Using Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and Dew-Point Temperature to Characterize Rainfall-Extreme Events in the South-Central Andes. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 379.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Atmosphere EISSN 2073-4433 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top