Teleconnections between the North Atlantic SST and Mediterranean rainfall

DOI: 10.3369/tethys.2011.8.04

Tethys no. 8 pp.: 31 - 42

Abstract

This work analyzes the energy teleconnections observed between Sea Surface Temperature anomalies in the North Atlantic and the cyclogenesis of the western Mediterranean basin. The basin has a high edge and in its central part there is a warm and evaporating sea that is crucial for energy exchanges that are key for its autarkic climatology. This could be the reason for not having observed any signification in the teleconnections between Mediterranean rainfalls and the North Atlantic Oscillation index. However, the energy deficits registered in the polar oceanic basins seem to be the trigger of the Mediterranean cyclogenetic activity through the draining of polar cold air over the warm Mediterranean waters. Simultaneously, the latent heat included in Mediterranean cyclogenesis is injected and diffused in high circulation to restore the hemispheric thermal balance. These processes have been systematically analyzed since 1981, when the registers of the sea university station started to show the intensity of air-sea interactions in the western Mediterranean basin.

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Partially funded through grants CGL2007-29820-E/CLI, CGL2008-02804-E/, CGL2009-07417-E and CGL2011-14046-E of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation