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Synoptic characteristics of rainy winters over the northern Arabian Peninsula

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Abstract

Surface observations of rain from 15 stations across the northern Arabian Peninsula (AP) and meteorological data from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data set were used to study the winter atmospheric factors and subtropical jet stream (STJ) characteristics controlling rain over the northern AP. The statistical study shows that January has the highest amount of winter rain when the STJ is at 200 hPa and is located in the zone between 25°N and 30°N. Synoptically, the northern AP winter rain forms when the Red Sea trough (RST) extends northward and is located to the east of the upper trough, while the rain decreases when the Siberian high intensifies, the pressure gradient around the RST decreases and the STJ becomes zonal or exits over the Middle East. Moreover, the study shows that the Mediterranean cyclone plays a secondary role in the generated rain, mainly producing atmospheric conditions favoring the northward extension of the RST. The results demonstrate that the pressure/geopotential gradient is more important than the relative positions of atmospheric systems in the development of rain. The temporal and vertical variations in the STJ indicate that the rain decreases as the core of the low-pressure difference shifts southward from the northern Red Sea. Additionally, the amount of the Siberian high difference is comparable to the negative low-pressure difference, while the Azores difference is relatively weak.

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Correspondence to Adel Mahmoud Awad.

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Asiri, M.A., Almazroui, M., Labban, A.H. et al. Synoptic characteristics of rainy winters over the northern Arabian Peninsula. Arab J Geosci 14, 1610 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-021-07916-4

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