Impacts of Atmospheric Rivers in Extreme Precipitation on the European Macaronesian Islands

Ramos AM, Trigo RM, Tomé R, Liberato MLR
Atmosphere 2018, 9, 325,

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The European Macaronesia Archipelagos (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands) are struck frequently by extreme precipitation events. Here we present a comprehensive assessment on the relationship between atmospheric rivers and extreme precipitation events in these three Atlantic Archipelagos. The relationship between the daily precipitation from the various weather stations located in the different Macaronesia islands and the occurrence of atmospheric rivers (obtained from four different reanalyses datasets) are analysed. It is shown that the atmospheric rivers’ influence over extreme precipitation (above the 90th percentile) is higher in the Azores islands when compared to Madeira or Canary Islands. In Azores, for the most extreme precipitation days, the presence of atmospheric rivers is particularly significant (up to 50%), while for Madeira, the importance of the atmospheric rivers is reduced (between 30% and 40%). For the Canary Islands, the occurrence of atmospheric rivers on extreme precipitation is even lower.