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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017, Article ID 5745412, 12 pages
Research Article

Cold Outbreaks at the Mesoscale in the Western Mediterranean Basin: From Raincells to Rainbands

1Department of Physics, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, Esteve Terrades 5, Building C3, Office 105, Castelldefels, 08860 Barcelona, Spain
2Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Jordi Mazon; ude.cpu@nozam.idroj

Received 24 January 2017; Revised 15 March 2017; Accepted 4 April 2017; Published 16 May 2017

Academic Editor: George Kallos

Copyright © 2017 Jordi Mazon and David Pino. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper investigates cold outbreaks that form offshore density currents within the whole mesoscale over the Western Mediterranean basin. Reflectivity radar and satellite images are used to detect clouds and precipitation that are associated with these density currents in the meso-, meso-, and meso- over the Western Mediterranean basin (WMB). Version 3.3 of the WRF-ARW model is used to describe the formation and evolution of these density currents and to estimate their lifetime as well as horizontal and vertical scales. Based on the observations and simulations, this paper suggests that a new perspective could effectively be adopted regarding the WMB region delineated by the Balearic Islands, the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, and the Gulf of Lion, where inland cold outbreaks develop into density currents that move offshore and can produce precipitation ranging from raincells to rainbands at the whole mesoscale.