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What Caused the Record Floods of March 2019 Across the Middle East?

Abstract

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are responsible for some of the hydroclimatic extremes around the world. Their mechanisms and contribution to flooding in the Middle East are relatively poorly understood. This study shows that the record floods during March 2019 across the Middle East were caused by a powerful AR, originated from the North Atlantic Ocean. Iran, in particular, was substantially affected by the floods. The nearly 9000 km long AR propagated across North Africa and the Middle-East, and was fed by additional moisture from several other sources on its pathway. Simultaneous presence of a mid-latitude system and a subtropical jet facilitated the moisture supply. The AR, as passing over the Zagros Mountains, produced record rainfall induced by the orographic forcing

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This paper was published in NASA Technical Reports Server.

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