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The September 2019 flash flood event in eastern Spain: synoptic analysis and extreme rainfall assessment
* 1 , * 2, 3 , 1
1  Degree in Marine Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Alicante, Section 99, E-03080, Alicante, Spain.
2  Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Alicante, Section 99, E-03080, Alicante, Spain.
3  Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies (MIES) “Ramón Margalef”, University of Alicante, Section 99, E-03690 Alicante, Spain.
Academic Editor: Anthony Lupo


The Western Mediterranean region is frequently affected by torrential rains, causing important economic losses and human casualties. The ocean-atmosphere exchanges of heat and moisture is a key role in the development of such heavy rain events, such as that developed from 10th to 14th September 2019 in eastern Spain. This intense storm affected the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, mainly the northern and southern areas of Alicante province as well as the east of the Murcia region. In some areas, accumulated rainfall values greater than 400 mm were recorded considering the whole precipitation event, while precipitation observations near 200 mm where recorded over some locations in just 2 hours. The synoptic environment of this event is characterised by an advection of easterly maritime winds focusing in the southeast Western Mediterranean basin and the presence of an upper level isolated low over the area of intense torrential rainfall. The current study presents a meteorological analysis of this rain event highlighting the synoptic ingredients and their dynamics. ERA5 reanalysis dataset together with satellite observations are used for this purpose. This information, together with surface measurements obtained from different weather stations located over the area of study, are used as well to characterize the spatial distribution and rain period of the observed extreme rainfall.

Keywords: western Mediterranean; cut-off low; precipitation; torrential rain; advection