EGU2020-40, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The influence of synoptic weather patterns in supercell formation in Spain

Carlos Calvo-Sancho1 and Yago Martín2
Carlos Calvo-Sancho and Yago Martín
  • 1University of Barcelona, Department of Astronomy and Meteorology, Spain (
  • 2School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida, USA (

Supercells are the most organized and complex type of thunderstorms. Their formation, among other factors, is greatly influenced by general synoptic weather conditions. The goal of the study is to analyze the effect of different circulation weather types (CWT) in supercell formation and their spatiotemporal patterns in Spain. We use 2014-2018 data from the Spanish Supercell Database from the weather online network (Martín et al., 2019) and compute 12 different CWTs through a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the 6-hour average of the 500hPa atmospheric pressure variable from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Reanalysis database. Results indicate that supercells are more common in three CWTs related with short-wave troughs over the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in the period from May to September. In these three CWTs the spatial distribution mainly concentrates in northeastern Spain, particularly in the Middle Ebro Valley (MEV) and the easternmost part of the Iberian System.

How to cite: Calvo-Sancho, C. and Martín, Y.: The influence of synoptic weather patterns in supercell formation in Spain, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-40,, 2019

Comments on the presentation

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 01 Apr 2020
  • CC1: Number of WTs, Swinda Falkena, 04 May 2020

    Hi Carlos,

    Thank you for your interesting presentation, and reponse in the chat to my questions. As a follow up, I looked at your WTs in some more detail, and the three WTs associated with supercells show significant similarities, making me wonder why you do not simply consider them as one WT? I appreciate this would give you one 'summer' WT, so maybe a separate analysis of summer would be more suitable? I think this might come back to the methodology where you mention k-means clustering, which requires you to a priori set the number of clusters, which I'm slightly confused about still. Could you clarify this?

    Best wishes,


    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Carlos Calvo-Sancho, 04 May 2020

      Hi Swinda, 

      Thank you very much for your words. 

      Yes, we consider it but we think that for first image it could be better have three different summer patterns because each one has diffents behaviours. One of our goals in a near future, is to research the influence of WTs only in summer adding more variables that favor supercell formation such as sea level pressure, temperature at 500 hPa, CAPE, etc. 

      Best wishes, 

      Carlos C. 

  • CC2: Comment on EGU2020-40, Maria-Carmen Llasat, 04 May 2020

    Good presentation Carlos! Congratulations!

    • AC2: Reply to CC2, Carlos Calvo-Sancho, 04 May 2020

      Thank you very much Carmen!