Articles | Volume 12, issue 3
Research article
13 Mar 2012
Research article |  | 13 Mar 2012

Numerical simulation of the impact of Anatolian and Caucasus Mountains on the precipitation distribution over the Black Sea

P. Ghafarian, M. Azadi, A. H. Meshkatee, and M. M. Farahani

Abstract. An attempt is made to examine the role of Anatolian and Caucasus mountain ranges in the precipitation distribution over the Black Sea region and to clarify the dynamical and physical mechanisms responsible for precipitation distribution over the region. Existence of a complex topography in the southern and eastern part of the Black Sea region makes it an important region for cyclogenesis. In this study the effect of Anatolian and Caucasus Mountains on the precipitating synoptic systems forming over the Black Sea are investigated. To this end, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model at 15-km horizontal grid spacing has been used to evaluate the lifetime of a low pressure system that was accompanied with heavy precipitation on 14 March 2009 over the coastal region of the Black Sea. Two experiments were conducted. In the control experiment (CTL), the topographical features of the region were retained. In the sensitivity experiment (EXP), the Anatolian and Caucasus mountain ranges were removed. It is found that in the EXP, some fields including vertical motion, relative vorticity, humidity, geopotential height in low level, cloud water content and precipitation distribution in the region undergo significant changes. As such, in the EXP, the vorticity, and the cut-off low system over the Black Sea intensified. It is also seen that, under favorable conditions for precipitation occurrence, the precipitation intensity in the south and east coasts of the Black Sea decreased and the region of maximum precipitation shifted toward the "Sea of Azov" region, in the direction of the surface southerly winds.