Main content area

Climatological aspects of cyclonic tracks associated with flood events in Crete, Greece

Flocas, H.A., Tsanis, I.K., Katavoutas, G., Kouroutzoglou, J., Iordanidou, V., Alexakis, D.D.
Theoretical and applied climatology 2017 v.130 no.3-4 pp. 1163-1174
algorithms, coasts, computer software, data collection, Aegean Sea, Crete, Greece
In this study, an attempt was made to identify the tracks of the synoptic-scale cyclones associated with flood events in Crete, a Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea and to investigate their kinematic and dynamic characteristics and vertical structure for a period of 25 years. Furthermore, a comparison is made with the corresponding characteristics of the population of surface cyclones passing over Crete during the same period. The Melbourne University Cyclone Tracking Algorithm was employed to examine the genesis and movement of these cyclones while their vertical profile was examined with the aid of the vertical tracing software, Vertical Tracking Scheme (VTS). The input data are based on ERA INTERIM reanalysis datasets with resolution 0.5° × 0.5° during the period 1990 to 2014. It was found that the vast majority originate mainly over the north African coasts, contrasting the preference of all cyclones passing over Crete to develop within the Southeast Mediterranean. Cyclones associated with the flood events are more intense than the cyclonic population, being mainly characterized by long duration and track length. Furthermore, they reveal characteristics of vertically organized baroclinic systems, suggesting that they are mainly driven by baroclinic processes at upper and lower levels.