Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
25 Jun 2010
 | 25 Jun 2010

Numerical study of the October 2007 flash flood in the Valencia region (Eastern Spain): the role of orography

F. Pastor, I. Gómez, and M. J. Estrela

Abstract. A torrential rain event took place in the Valencia region in October 2007, mainly affecting coastal areas and nearby mountains in the center-south of the region, in northern Alicante province. More than 400 mm in 24 h were recorded at some stations in these areas, with lower accumulations in the rest of the region where rainfall was less intense. In the first part of this work a description of the meteorological situation is given. The synoptic frame of the event is characterised by an advection of easterly maritime winds across the Western Mediterranean, lasting for at least 48 h, driving moist air towards the Iberian Peninsula eastern coast and the presence of an upper level isolated low over Eastern Iberian Peninsula. Then, the results of numerical simulations using the Regional Atmospheric Modelling System model are shown to study the rain event in detail. The Regional Atmospheric Modelling System reproduces satisfactorily the spatial distribution of the rainfall and the rain period, but it underestimates precipitation in the areas with the most intense values. Finally, a sensitivity test was performed in order to evaluate the role of orography in the rain event, showing the importance of orography as a triggering mechanism.