Shamals and climate variability in the Northern Arabian Gulf from 1973 to 2012

Friday, 19 December 2014
Fahad Al Senafi and Ayal Anis, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, United States
This study presents key results from analysis of surface meteorological observations collected in the Northern Arabian Gulf (N AG). The dataset, which spans a 40-years period (1973-2012; Kuwait airport), was used to examine climate variability in the N AG, and the relation to Shamal events (strong NW winds that commonly create large dust storms) and teleconnection patterns (North Atlantic Oscillation, El Nino Southern Oscillation, and Indian Ocean Dipole). Results of the analysis indicate that during the 40-year period the climate in the region experienced a general trend of increase in temperature (0.8 ^oC), decrease
in barometric pressure (1 mb), reduction in humidity (6%), and decrease in visibility (9%). Signi cant correlations were found between the three teleconnection patterns and the meteorological conditions suggesting that seasonal variability in air temperature, barometric pressure, and precipitation are closely related to the teleconnection patterns. Analysis of the 40-year period suggests that on average Shamal events occur at a rate of 10 events per year with 85% of the events occuring during the summer and winter. These events resulted in abrupt changes in meteorological conditions: an increase in wind speed of 2.7 m/s, an increase in temperature during summer of 0.8 ^oC, and a decrease of -1.5 ^oC during winter, a decrease in barometric pressure during summer of -0.6 mb and a increase of 7.8 mb during winter, a decrease in visibility of -1.7 km, and reduction in humidity of -4.3 %.