On the dynamic mechanisms of intense rainfall events in the central Andes of Peru, Mantaro valley

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Consejo Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Tecnológica - Concytec
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The present study was aimed at analysing the main atmospheric dynamic mechanisms associated with the occurrence of intense rainfall events above the Huancayo observatory (12.05 degrees S, 75.32 degrees W, 3313 m asl) in the central Andes of Peru (Mantaro valley) from January 2018 to April 2019. To identify the rainfall events, we used a set of instruments from the laboratory of physics, microphysics and radiation (LAMAR) composed by in-situ pluviometric observations, satellite remote sensing data (GPM), Cloud Radar (MIRA-35c), Boundary Layer Tropospheric Radar (BLTR) and downscaling model simulations with WRF (resolutions: 18 km, 6 km and 2 km) and ARPS (0.5 km) models to analyse the dynamics of the atmosphere for the synoptic, meso and local processes that control the occurrence of these rainfall events. The results showed that all intense rainfall events are associated with the presence of thermal meso-scale circulations that transport moisture fluxes through passes with gentle slopes along both sides of the Andes. The easterly moisture fluxes come in from the South America Low Level Jet (SALLJ) and the westerly moisture fluxes from the Pacific Ocean. The arrival of these moisture flows to regions within the Mantaro valley depends on their coupling with the circulations at medium and high levels of the atmosphere. At the synoptic scale, the results show that the rainfall events can be separated into two groups: the first one associated with westerly circulations (WC) at the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere, generated by the weakening and eastern displacement of the anticyclonic Bolivian high-North east low (BH-NE) system, and the second associated with easterly circulations (EC) at the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere, generated by the intensification of the BH-NE system. The observed and simulated results showed that multicell convective systems of WC events are more extensive and deeper than EC events. This situation can be explained as the convergence of moisture fluxes from opposite directions occurred within the Mantaro basin for WC events. In contrast, for EC events, the convergence develops at the east Andes mountain range, following which the multicell storm system propagates westward, driven by easterly circulations. The EC events occur mostly in the summer months, while the WC events occur mostly in the autumn and spring months. Moreover, apparently the inertia gravity waves (IGWs) formed in the Amazon basin transport moisture and energy to the central Andes plateau and intensify the convection processes.
Present study comes under the project MAGNET-IGP: Strengthening the research line in physics and microphysics of the atmosphere (Agreement No 010-2017-FONDECYT) This work was done using instruments of the Laboratory of Physics, Microphysics and Radiation (LAMAR) and computational resources, HPC-Linux -Cluster, from Laboratorio de Dinamica de Fluidos Geofisicos Computacionales at Instituto Geofisico del Peru (grants 101-2014-FONDECYT, SPIRALES2012 IRD-IGP, Manglares IGP-IDRC, PP068 program).We also thank Mr. Luis Suarez Salas for the support of LAMAR instruments.
Palabras clave
Rainfall events, Dynamic analysis, Mantaro basin, Model simulations, Inertia gravity waves