The transformation of rainfall into runoff at a basin outlet is the combined effect of many hydrological processes, which occur at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. However, determining the scale of the combined hydrological response of the basin is still problematic and concepts for its definition are yet to be identified. In this paper high-resolution meteorological radar data are used for the determination of a characteristic temporal scale for the hydrological response of the basin - the 'response time scale' (Ts*). Ts* is defined as the time scale at which the pattern of the time-averaged radar rainfall hietograph is most similar to the pattern of the measured outlet runoff hydrograph. The existence of such similarity at a relatively stable time scale for a specific basin indicates that it is an intrinsic property of the basin and is related to its hydrological response. The identification of the response time scale is carried out by analysis of observations only, without assuming a specific rainfall-runoff model. Ts* is examined in four small basins (10-100 km2) in Israel. The spatial scale is assumed as the entire basin. For all analyzed basins a stable response time scale is identified. Relatively short time scales are found for the urban and arid basins (15-30 min), while for the rural basins longer time scale are identified (90-180 min). The issues of relationship between the response time scale and basin properties and modeling at the response time scale have yet to be determined. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
At times, a pronounced trough of low barometric pressure extends from equatorial Africa northward, over the Red Sea and the eastern Mediterranean countries, i.e., the Red Sea Trough. The associated weather is usually hot and dry, and consequently the atmosphere becomes conditionally unstable. In cases in which additional moisture is supplied and dynamic conditions become supportive, as the case analyzed here, intense thunderstorms occur, with extreme rain rates, hail and floods. The storm herein analyzed caused extensive damage both in casualties and property and evolved in two main consecutive phases: In the first a Mesoscale Convective System that moved from Sinai northward over Israel dominated, and in the second deep convection was organized mainly along a cold front. Data analysis indicates several synoptic-scale factors that had a supportive effect on the storm formation and intensification: Conditional instability established by the Red Sea trough, mid-level moisture transport from Northern Africa, and upper-level divergence imparted by both polar and subtropical jet streams over the Middle-East. Mesoscale features were further investigated by means of a hydro-meteorological observational analysis with high spatio-temporal resolution using raingauge and radar data, and satellite imagery. It is shown that local factors, particularly topographic effects, play a major role in the evolution, intensity and spatial organization of the convective activity. Our findings support results of a numerical study of another autumn rainstorm associated with the Red Sea trough. In the present case we identify an additional contributing factor, i.e., a mid-latitude upper-level trough that further intensified the storm as it was approaching the Middle-East.