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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 2 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 235-246, 2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-14-235-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 14 Feb 2014

Research article | 14 Feb 2014

Rapid and sudden advection of warm and dry air in the Mediterranean Basin

J. Mazon1, D. Pino1,2, and M. Barriendos3,4 J. Mazon et al.
  • 1Department of Applied Physics, Universitat Politècnica de Cataluna, BarcelonaTech, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC–UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Institut Català de Ciències del Clima (IC3), Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Department of Modern History, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. Rapid advection of extremely warm and dry air is studied during two events in the Mediterranean Basin. On 27 August 2010 a rapid advection of extremely warm and dry air affected the northeast Iberian Peninsula during a few hours. At the Barcelona city center, the temperature reached 39.3 ° C, which is the maximum temperature value recorded during 230 yr of daily data series. On 23 March 2008 a rapid increase of temperature and drop of relative humidity were recorded for a few hours in Heraklion (Crete). During the morning on that day, the recorded temperature reached 34 °C for several hours on the northern coastline of this island.

According to the World Meteorological Organization none of these events can be classified as a heat wave, which requires at least two days of abnormally high temperatures; neither are they a heat burst as defined by the American Meteorological Society, where abnormal temperatures take place during a few minutes. For this reason, we suggest naming this type of event flash heat.

By using data from automatic weather stations in the Barcelona and Heraklion area and WRF mesoscale numerical simulations, these events are analyzed. Additionally, the primary risks and possible impacts on several fields are presented.

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