Wednesday, 12 January 2005: 9:15 AM
Classifying precipitation events in the Fertile Crescent
Much of the agriculture in the semi-arid zone of the northern Middle East relies on water being transported via the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. This water originated as precipitation in the Fertile Crescent region encompassing northern Syria, southwest Turkey, northern Iraq and northwest Iran. While precipitation in this region is of great importance for a vast semi-arid zone, the general lack of data and consistent political conflict has limited the ability to perform analysis of these events at a regional scale. In this study a 5 year regional climate model simulation provides the data to analyze and classify the 200 largest daily precipitation events. The events are classified using both the principle component analysis of 500hPa geopotential heights and time series of water vapor fluxes, followed by cluster analysis using the non-hierarchical ISODATA algorithm. Results demonstrate distinct differences in the event classes constructed. The best synoptic climatology construction method may depend on whether the eventual aim is to improve precipitation forecasting or understanding of the regional water cycle.
Supplementary URL: http://www.yale.edu/ceo/Projects/swap.html