EGU21-3670, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Climatology of the Heat Low and the Intertropical Discontinuity in the Arabian Peninsula

Ricardo Fonseca1, Diana Francis1, Narendra Nelli1, and Mohan Thota2
Ricardo Fonseca et al.
  • 1Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Research Department, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 2National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Noida, India

The climatological state and the seasonal variability of the Arabian Heat Low (AHL) and the Intertropical Discontinuity (ITD) are investigated over the Arabian Peninsula using the 1979-2019 ERA-5 reanalysis data. The AHL is a summertime feature, mostly at 15º-35ºN and 40º-60ºE, exhibiting a clear strengthening over the last four decades in line with the observed increase in surface temperature. However, no clear shift in its position is detected. The AHL has a center over the Arabian Gulf and eastern Arabian Peninsula, co-located with the highest surface temperatures, and another over central Saudi Arabia, driven by low-level wind convergence and subsequent increase in atmospheric thickness. The ITD is the boundary between the hot and dry desert air and the cooler and more moist air from the Arabian Sea. It lies along the Arabian Peninsula’s southern coastline in the cold season but reaches up to 28º N between 50º - 60º E in the summer months. While the former has a rather small diurnal variability, the latter shows daily fluctuations of up to 10º. The ITD exhibited a weak northward migration in the 41-year ERA-5 period, likely driven by the increased sea surface temperatures in the Arabian Sea. On interannual timescales, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole, and solar-geomagnetic effects play an important role in the AHL’s and ITD’s variability.

How to cite: Fonseca, R., Francis, D., Nelli, N., and Thota, M.: Climatology of the Heat Low and the Intertropical Discontinuity in the Arabian Peninsula, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3670,, 2021.

Display materials

Display file

Comments on the display material

to access the discussion