Influence of Northwest Cloudbands on Southwest Australian Rainfall

Nicola Telcik, Charitha Pattiaratchi

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    Abstract

    Northwest cloudbands are tropical-extratropical feature that crosses the Australian continent originating from Australia’s northwest coast and develops in a NW-SE orientation. In paper, atmospheric and oceanic reanalysis data (NCEP) and Reynolds reconstructed sea surface temperature data were used to examine northwest cloudband activity across the Australian mainland. An index that reflected the monthly, seasonal, and interannual activity of northwest cloudbands between 1950 and 1999 was then created. Outgoing longwave radiation, total cloud cover, and latent heat flux data were used to determine the number of days when a mature northwest cloudband covered part of the Australian continent between April and October. Regional indices were created for site-specific investigations, especially of cloudband-related rainfall. High and low cloudband activity can affect the distribution of cloudbands and their related rainfall. In low cloudband activity seasons, cloudbands were mostly limited to the south and west Australian coasts. In high cloudband activity seasons, cloudbands penetrated farther inland, which increased the inland rainfall. A case study of the southwest Australian region demonstrated that, in a below average rainfall year, cloudband-related rainfall was limited to the coast. In an above average rainfall year, cloudband-related rainfall occurred further inland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number671394
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Climatology
    Volume2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2014

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