Characteristics of the internal and external sources of the Mediterranean synoptic cyclones for the period 1956–2013
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This paper investigates the main sources and features of the Mediterranean synoptic cyclones affecting the basin, using the cyclone tracks. The cyclones’ tracks are identified using sea level pressure (SLP) from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data for the period 1956–2013. The identified cyclones are classified into two categories: basin affected and basin non-affected. Most of the basin-affected (non-affected) cyclones are internal (external), i.e., generated inside (outside) the Mediterranean basin. This study reveals four (five) main sources of internal (external) cyclones. These four (five) main sources generated about 63.76% (57.25%) of the internal (external) cyclones. Seasonal analysis shows that most of the basin-affected internal (external) cyclones were generated in the winter (spring) season. The lowest number of cyclones were found in the summer. Moreover, the synoptic study of the atmospheric systems accompanied the highest- and lowest-generated years demonstrates that the deepening of the north Europe cyclones and the relative positions of Azores- and Siberian-high systems represent the important factors that influence the number of internal cyclones. Essential factors influencing the external cyclones are the strength of the maximum upper wind, Azores high, Siberian high, and orientations of their ridges.
The authors are grateful to the King Abdulaziz University for providing the facilities and logistical needs for this study. Computation for the work described in this paper was performed using the Aziz Supercomputer at King Abdulaziz University’s High Performance Computing Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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