Articles | Volume 35
10 Jul 2013
 | 10 Jul 2013

Synoptic environment associated with heavy rainfall events on the coastland of Northeast Brazil

P. T. Oliveira, K. C. Lima, and C. M. Santos e Silva

Abstract. Northeast Brazil (NEB) has an extensive coastal area, often hit by natural disasters that bring many social and economic losses. The objective of this work was to study the synoptic environment associated with a heavy rainfall event (HRE) on the coastland of NEB. We used daily rainfall data for coastal area of NEB between the states of Rio Grande do Norte and Bahia, divided into two subregions: north and south coastland. This data was obtained from the hydrometeorological network managed by the Agência Nacional de Águas and the daily data reanalysis from the ERAInterim. For the selection of HRE the technique of quantiles was used, thus defined HRE where at least one rain gauge recorded rainfall above 95th percentile. The interannual distribution of events showed occurrence maximum in La Niña years and minimal in El Niño years. The results suggest that the HRE were formed mainly due to the action of upper-level cyclonic vortex, in hight levels, and due to the action to South Atlantic convergence zone, in low levels.