From: King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)
Published July 31, 2017 10:55 AM

More rain for the Red Sea if El Niño breezes in

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been shown, for the first time, to play a role in increased rainfall and storms along the Red Sea and surrounding regions.

During the winter months, from October to March, the northern Red Sea experiences northwesterly winds from the Mediterranean and southeasterly winds from the Gulf of Aden. These winds form the Red Sea Convergence Zone (RSCZ), an area characterized by cloudy skies and drizzle that contrasts with the typically clear weather of the region.

Associate Professor of Earth Science and Engineering Ibrahim Hoteit and colleagues at KAUST have explored how the intensity and position of the RSCZ affects rainfall during the winter months and how it is influenced by ENSO.

“The Red Sea is a narrow basin, and so requires high spatially resolved data to accurately describe variations in the RSCZ,” explained Hoteit. “This means we require extensive and accurate datasets to assess the influence of ENSO variability on the region’s rainfall.”

Read more at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

Image: Vertical structure of the winter wind circulation over the Red Sea depicts the Red Sea Convergence Zone and the transport of moisture to the northern regions. (© 2017 KAUST)

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