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A Regional Climate Study of Heat Waves over the Iberian Peninsula

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DOI: 10.4236/acs.2014.45074    2,853 Downloads   3,419 Views   Citations


We present a regional climate simulation for the Iberian Peninsula for a 60-year period (1950-2009) using the WRF-ARW model with a focus on the simulation of summer maximum temperatures and associated extreme heat waves. The WRF model was designed at a 5 km horizontal resolution on a 5-month (May-September) seasonal scale, for every year, during the study period with initial/boundary conditions derived from NCEP 2.5 degree reanalysis. The comparison of simulated mean summer seasonal maximums and mean maximums of June, July, and August months with the corresponding E-OBS data sets indicates that the model is able to characterize the spatial variation of magnitudes of temperature change over the Iberian Peninsula. The mean extreme heat wave conditions during the climate period 1950-2009 are well simulated and match the observations well. The regional scale simulations clearly show the propagation of intense heat waves from the south west to north east of Iberia. The WRF-ARW model also simulated well the general trend of increase in heat waves over most parts of the Iberian Peninsula during the study period 1950-2009. The characteristics of the most severe heat waves years 2003 and 2006 are also well simulated by the model.

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Dasari, H. , Pozo, I. , Ferri-Yáñez, F. and Araújo, M. (2014) A Regional Climate Study of Heat Waves over the Iberian Peninsula. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 4, 841-853. doi: 10.4236/acs.2014.45074.


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