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The Influence of the Caspian Sea SSTs on Winter and Spring Precipitation over Northern and Southwestern Parts of Iran

Keywords: Iran , Precipitation , Caspian Sea , SST , Drought , Wet , Forecast

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The influence of the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) on the seasonal precipitation over northern and southwestern parts of Iran was investigated. The warm, cold and base phases of the SSTs were defined and the median of precipitation during each of these phases (Rw, Rc and Rb, respectively) was determined. The magnitude of Rw/Rb, Rc/Rb and Rc/Rw were used as criteria for the assessment of the effects of the alternation of SST phases on seasonal precipitation. The results indicate that in association with cold SST phase, winter rainfall is above median over western and central parts of the coastal region, central and southern parts of Fars Province and all the stations studied in Khozestan Province. On the other hand, the prevalence of warm SST phase has caused about 20% decrease in winter precipitation over the Caspian Sea coastal area and northern parts of both Fars and Khozestan provinces. In association with warm SST phase in winter, precipitation during the following spring was found to be above normal for all the stations studied in the coastal region of the Caspian Sea. The highest sensitivity levels were found in Bandar- Anzali and Astara for which spring precipitation has increased by 80% due to the dominance of warm winter phase. However, the occurrence of boreal cold SST events causes shortage of precipitation in the eastern parts of the coastal areas along the Caspian Sea. A Possible Physical mechanisem justifying the influence of the Caspian Sea SST on the Precipitation variability was introduced. According to this mechanisem, temporal and spatial variability of the Siberian High is forced by the fluctuations in these SSTs.


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