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Open AccessArticle

Investigating the Role of Extreme Synoptic Patterns and Complex Topography During Two Heavy Rainfall Events in Crete in February 2019

1
Institute for Environmental research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, 15236 Athens, Greece
2
LMD/IPSL, CNRS UMR 8539, École Polytechnique, Sorbonne Universités, 91128 Palaiseau, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(7), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8070087
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 2 July 2020 / Accepted: 9 July 2020 / Published: 16 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation: Forecasting and Climate Projections)
During February 2019, two severe storms affected the island of Crete, located in south Greece. Both storms produced excessive rainfall, provoking severe damages, especially in the western part of Crete. The role of the prevailing synoptic patterns and the interaction of the flow with the high mountains of Crete were investigated. For this purpose, a variety of observational and numerical model data were exploited, including data from a dense rain gauge network, satellite imagery, and model analysis of various parameters describing the stability of the impinging flow. The first storm was a long-lasting event, with convective outbreaks embedded in a more stratiform rainfall pattern. The second storm was brief but mostly convection dominated. The analysis of the available data underlined the role of the low-level convergence upstream of the mountains during both storms, highlighting similarities and differences, as well as the role of the stability of the impinging flow. High soil moisture content was also evidenced as a key ingredient for the severe flooding that occurred during the second storm. This work complements similar studies on the role of Mediterranean islands and their topography on the spatial and temporal distribution of extreme rainfall. View Full-Text
Keywords: Crete island; orographic rainfall; unblocked flow Crete island; orographic rainfall; unblocked flow
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Lagouvardos, K.; Dafis, S.; Giannaros, C.; Karagiannidis, A.; Kotroni, V. Investigating the Role of Extreme Synoptic Patterns and Complex Topography During Two Heavy Rainfall Events in Crete in February 2019. Climate 2020, 8, 87.

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