Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
19 Mar 2012
 | 19 Mar 2012

The role of nocturnal Low-Level-Jet in nocturnal convection and rainfalls in the west Mediterranean coast: the episode of 14 December 2010 in northeast of Iberian Peninsula

J. Mazón and D. Pino

Abstract. The night of 14 December 2010 radar images of the Spanish Weather Agency recorded a large rain band that moved offshore at the Northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula. MM5 mesoscale model is used to study the atmospheric dynamics during that day. A Nocturnal Low Level Jet (NLLJ) generated by an inertial oscillation that brings cold air to the coast from inland has been simulated in the area. This cold air interacts with a warmer air mass some kilometers offshore. According to the MM5 mesoscale model simulation, the cold air enhances upward movements of the warm air producing condensation. Additionally, there is a return flow to the coastline at 600–900 m high. This warm air mass interacts again with the cold air moving downslope, also producing condensation inland. The simulation for the night before this episode shows large drainage winds with a NLLJ profile, but no condensation areas. The night after the 14th the simulation also shows drainage winds but without a NLLJ profile. However, an offshore convergence area was produced with a returned flow, but no condensation inland occurred. This fact is in agreement with radar observations which reported no precipitation for these two days. Consequently, NLLJ in combination with a synoptic wind over the sea could enhance condensation and eventually precipitation rates in the Mediterranean Iberian coast.