Synoptic conditions leading to extremely high temperatures in Madrid

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Extremely hot days (EHD) in Madrid have been analysed to determine the synoptic patterns that produce EHDs during the period of 1955-1998. An EHD is defined as a day with maximum temperature higher than 36.5°C, a value which is the threshold for the intense effects on mortatility and it coincides with the 95 percentile of the series. Two different situations have been detected as being responsible for an EHD occurrence, one more dynamical, produced by southern fluxes, and another associated with a stagnation situation over Iberia of a longer duration. Both account for 92% of the total number of days, thus providing an efficient classification framework. A circulation index has been derived to characterise and forecast an EHD occurrence. This paper shows that EHD occur in Madrid during short duration events, and no long heat waves, like those recorded in other cities, are present. Additionally, no clear pattern can be detected in the EHD frequency; the occurrence is tied to changes in the summer location of the Azores high.
© European Geophysical Society 2002. Topical Editor J.-P. Duvel thanks I. Durre and J. Coiffier for their help in evaluating this paper.
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