Assessment of the Low Level Jets Effects on MCSS Formation in the Southwest Iran

Document Type : Full length article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Human Science, University of Sayyed Jamaleddin Asadabadi, Asadabad, Hamedan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Geography Science, University of Razi, Kermanshah, Kermanshahan, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The most notable convective systems are Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs). These systems are developed when clouds occurring in response to convective instability organize upscale into a single cloud system with a very large cirriform cloud structure and rainfall covering large contiguous areas (Houz, 2004). Detection and monitoring of MCSs is very important in southwest Iran because they produce hazardous weather, such as lightning, heavy rainfall, hail and strong winds. Several factors influence the development of MCSs such as the flow generated by a weak midlevel trough and the occurrence of low level jets (LLJs). LLJs transport moisture at the jet level, increase the low-level convergence and are responsible for sustaining convection especially at night.
Materials and Methods  
The aim of this study was to assess the influence of low level jets on MCSs formation across the southwest Iran in the period from 2001 to 2005. The months of January, Mars, April and December was selected because of more MCSs occurrence. Event days were selected using synoptic station data (a set of storm reports such as thunderstorm, lightning, and shower and precipitation) across the study area. IR brightness temperature data from Meteosat 5 were utilized to detect MCSs. It has a resolution of 4 km with temporal resolution of 30 min. Detection of MCSs was performed on the basis of brightness temperature and areal extent thresholds. In this approach ‘convective cells’ are connected zones of the pixels below the temperature threshold that exceed the areal extent threshold (Woodley et al., 1980). The best threshold for detection of the area characterized by deep moist convection was determined 228 K. Based on Morel and Senesi (2002), 1000 km2 of area threshold was selected. Those systems have been considered as a MCS which reached at least an area of 10000 km2 during its mature stage and lastedat least 3 h.
To determine the influence of low level jet on MCSs development, the occurrence percent, maximum extension and duration of MCSs was analyzed in both LLJ and NOLLJ condition. The detection of low level jet events is based on Bonner (Bonner, 1968). According to this classical definition, a low level jet event is detected when the wind speed is equal to or higher than 12 m/s. In addition, the wind speed should decrease by at least 6 m/s to the next higher minimum. Furthermore, the moisture fluxes at 850 hPa are analyzed to identify low level jets in moist air advection. Moisture flux (MF850) is calculated by multiplying the specific humidity and wind speed (Remedio, 2013). The regions with intense moisture transport are identified during the mean monthly conditions as well as during the composite of low level jet events.
Results and Discussion  
The result of this study showed that most of the MCSs is triggered and developed during low level jet event in all months. Thus, 85% of MCSs in January, 96% of MCSs in Mars, 84% of MCSs in April and 88% of MCSs in December has formed during Low Level Jet event. The MCSs triggering without low level jets was rare. Analysis of the 850-mb isotachs showed that there was the Low Level Jet many hours before the organized convective systems is established in most of cases. The center of Low Level Jets was mainly in the vicinity of Persian Gulf. Its speed was equal to 14 - 18 m/s approximately and its axis was in north to south direction. The high wind speeds generally advect the warm and moist air from the Arab and red sea towards the southwest Iran. These conditions caused the release of latent heat and increase in the low-level convergence. This was favorable for development of convection and MCSs formation.
Westerly wind with low speed is prevailed during the mean monthly conditions at 850 hPa. But, it was southwesterly during the composite of low level jet events which transmitted heat and moisture to the study area.
The result of this research revealed that the biggest and the most lasting formed MCSs in the days with low level jet event was bigger and more lasting than those with no low level jet event. But, the mean extension and duration of MCSs in two different conditions showed no significant difference.


Main Subjects

حجازی‌زاده، ز.؛ کریمی، م.؛ ضیاییان، پ.؛ رفعتی، س. (1393). بررسی سامانه‌های همرفتی میان‌مقیاس(MCSs)  با استفاده از تصاویر دمای درخشندگی در جنوب‌غرب ایران، نشریة تحقیقات کاربردی علوم جغرافیایی، 14(32): 45- 69.

عبدالله‌زاده، ک.؛ عبدالله‌زاده، ی. (1385). مفاهیم کاربردی آمار و احتمالات، چاپ سوم. انتشارات آییژ، تهران.

کریمی، م.؛ فرج‌زاده، م. (1390). شار رطوبت و الگوهای فضایی- زمانی منابع تأمین رطوبت بارش‌های ایران، 11(22): 109-128.

مفیدی، ع.؛ زرین، آ. (1384). بررسی سینوپتیکی تأثیر سامانه‌های کم‌فشار سودانی در وقوع بارش‌های سیل‌زا در ایران، فصلنامة تحقیقات جغرافیایی دانشگاه اصفهان، 77: 113- 136.
Abdollahzadeh, K.; Abdollahzadeh, Y. (2006). The applied theory of statistics, Third edition, Yyzh Press, Tehran.
Arritt, R.W.; Rink, T.D.; Segal, M.; Todey, D.P.; Clark, C.A. (1997). The Great Plains low-level jet during the warm season of 1993, Monthly Weather Review, 125: 2176–2192.
Augustine, J.A.; Caracena, F. (1993). Lower tropospheric signals in the late afternoon that relate to nocturnal MCS development, Third National Heavy Precipitation Workshop. Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 299-319.
Augustine, J.A.; Caracena, F. (1994). Lower tropospheric precursors to nocturnal MCS development over the central United States, Weather Forecasting, 9: 116–135.
Bonner, W.D. (1968). Climatology of the Low Level Jet, Monthly Weather Review, 96: 833-850.
Bonner, W.D. (1966). Case study of thunderstorm activity in relation to the low-level jet, Monthly Weather Review, 94: 167-178.
Carbone, R.E.; Conway, J.W.; Crook, N.A.; Moncrieff, M.W. (1990). The generation and propagation of a nocturnal squall line. Part I: Observations and implications for mesoscale predictability, Monthly Weather Review, 118: 26-49.
Colman, B.A. (1990). Thunderstorms above frontal surfaces in environments without positive CAPE. Part I: A Climatology, Monthly Weather Review, 118: 1103-1121.
Cotton, W.R.; Lin, M.S.; McAnelly, R.L.; Tremback, C.J. (1989). A composite model of mesoscale convective complexes, Monthly Weather Review, 117: 765-783.
Da Silva, M.C.L.; Rocha, R.P.; Ynoue, R.Y. (2010). Climatic simulations of the eastern Andes low-level jet and its dependency on convective parameterizations. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 108: 9-27. DOI: 0.1007/s00703-010-0077-9.
Fritsch, J. M., Forbes, G. S., 2001, Mesoscale convective systems, Severe Convective Storms, Meteorological Monographs, Vol. 28, pp. 323-358.
Futyan, J.M.; Del Genio, A.D. (2007). Deep Convective System Evolution over Africa and the Tropical Atlantic. Journal of Climate, 20: 5041-5060. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI4297.1
Hejazizadeh, Z.; Karimi, M.; Ziaean, P.; Rafati, S. (2014). Analysis of Mesoscale convective using IR brightness temperature in southwest of Iran, Journal of Applied Research in Geographical Sciences, 14(32): 45-69.
Houze, R.A.; Smull, B.F.; Dodge, P. (1990). Mesoscale organization of springtime rainstorms in Oklahoma, Monthly Weather Review, 118: 613-654.
Houze, R.A. (2004). Mesoscale convective systems, Reviews of Geophysics, 42: 1-43.
Johnson, R.; Mapes, B.E. (2001). Mesoscale processes and severe convective weather, Meteorological Monographs, 28: 71-122.
Janowiak, J.E.; Joyce, R.I.; Yarosh, Y. (2001). A real-time global half-hourly pixel resolution infrared dataset and its applications. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82: 205–217.
Karimi, M.; Farajzadeh, M. (2011). Moisture flux and spatial-temporal patterns of Precipitation Moisture supply, 11(22): 109-128.
Kocin, P.J.; Uccellini, L.W.; Petersen, R.A. (1986). Rapid evolution of a jet streak circulation in a pre-convective environment, Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 35: 103-138.
Maddox, R.A.; Doswell, C.A. (1982). An examination of jet stream configurations, 500 mb vorticity advection and low-level thermal advection patterns during extended periods of intense convection, Monthly Weather Review, 110: 184-197.
Maddox, R.A. (1983). Large-scale meteorological conditions associated with midlatitude, mesoscale convective complexes, Monthly Weather Review, 111: 1475-1493.
Marengo, J.A.; Soares, W.R.; Saulo, C.; Nicolini, M. (2004). Climatology of the low level jet east of the Andes as derived from the NCEP–NCAR reanalyzes, Characteristics and temporal variability, Journal of Climate, 17: 2261–2280.
Mofidi, A.; Zarin, A. (2006). Synoptic Assessment of Soudan Low Impact on Flooding Rainfall in Iran, Geographical Research, 20: 77: 113-136.
Morel, C.; Senesi, S. (2002). A climatology of mesoscale convective systems over Europe using satellite infrared imagery, I: Methodology, Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society, 128: 1953–1971.
Nicolini, M.; Saulo, C.; Torres, J.C.; Salio, P. (2002). Strong South American low level jet events characterization during warm season and implications for enhanced precipitation, Meteorologica, 27: 59–69.
Remedio, A.R. (2013). Connections of low level jets and mesoscale convective systems in South America, International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling, Reports On Earth System Science, Hamburg.
Rozante, J.R.; Cavalcanti, I.F.A. (2008). Regional Eta model experiments: SALLJEX and MCS development. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, DOI: 0.1029/2007JD009566.
Salio, P.; Nicolini, M.; Zipser, E.J. (2007). Mesoscale Convective Systems over Southeastern South America and Their Relationship with the South American Low-Level Jet., Monthly Weather Review, 135: 1290-1309. DIO 0.1175/MWR3305.1.
Sortais, L.; Cammas, J.P.; Yu, X.D.; Richard, E.; Rosset, R. (1993). A case study of coupling between low- and upper-level jet-front systems: Investigation of dynamical and diabatic processes, Monthly Weather Review, 121: 2239-2253.
Trier, S.B.; Parsons, D.B. (1993). Evolution of environmental conditions preceding the development of a nocturnal mesoscale convective complex, Monthly Weather Review, 121: 1078-1098.
Trier, S.B.; Davis, C.A.; Ahijevych, D.A.; Weisman, M.L.; Bryan, G.H. (2006). Mechanisms supporting long-lived episodes of propagating nocturnal convection within a 7-day WRF model simulation, Journal of Atmospheric Science, 63: 2437-2461.
Tuttle, J.D., Davis, C.A. (2006). Corridors of warm season precipitation in the central United States, Monthly Weather Review, 134: 2297–2317.
Uccellini, L.W.; Johnson, D.R. (1979). The coupling of upper and lower tropospheric jet streaks and implications for the development of severe convective storms, Monthly Weather Review, 107: 682-703.
Woodley, W.L.; Griffith, C.G.; Stromatt, S.C. (1980). The inference of GATE convective rainfall from SMS-1 imagery, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 19: 388–408.
Zipser, E.J.; Salio, P.; Nicolini, M. (2004). Mesoscale Convective Systems activity during SALLJEX and the relationship with SALLJ, CLIVAR Exchanges, 29: 14-19.