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Scientific miracle!Israeli researchers develop tool to predict extreme rainfall


A flooded road near Neve Tzuf in Samaria after heavy rains (Image: TPS)

Tel Aviv, June 7: Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have identified factors that influence the likelihood of extreme rainfall events and developed a tool that could improve predictions of such events.

Extreme rainfall events, especially those leading to flash floods in southern and eastern Israel in spring and autumn, are difficult to predict even a short time in advance. In April 2018, a flash flood killed 10 army preparation course students while hiking the Nahal Tzafit riverbed in the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea. Israel has launched its first tourist marine nature reserve in the Mediterranean Sea off the country’s northern coast.

Research led by Dr. Assaf Hochman and doctoral student Tair Plotnik of the Hebrew University’s Institute of Earth Sciences identified factors that affect scientists’ ability to predict extreme rainfall events that coincide with the so-called “active” Red Ocean Trough. Israel has launched its first tourist marine nature reserve in the Mediterranean Sea off the country’s northern coast.

Using a large database belonging to the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the research team examined all extreme rainfall events since 1979 and divided them into hard-to-predict and easy-to-predict categories.

One of the factors preventing the best forecast, they found, was the simultaneous entry of air masses into Israel from the south and the north, since the two have distinctly different characteristics.

A mathematical tool developed by the research team improves forecasting even in difficult situations, so that extreme rainfall events in Israel and subsequently in other parts of the world can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy in the near future.

This capability will allow policymakers to prepare for such events, saving lives and significantly reducing associated losses.

“This study and the tools we have subsequently developed allow us to examine the factors that contribute to extreme rainfall events and thus predict the conditions under which extreme rainfall events will occur. Using this tool could potentially save lives as in the future it will allow authorities to predict extreme rainfall events and prepare properly for it,” Hochman said.

“We plan to collaborate with the Israel Meteorological Agency and other large forecasting agencies around the world to implement our unique new method,” he added.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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