A new parameter is introduced: the lightning potential index (LPI), which is a measure of the potential for charge generation and separation that leads to lightning flashes in convective thunderstorms. The LPI is calculated within the charge separation region of clouds between 0°C and −20°C, where the noninductive mechanism involving collisions of ice and graupel particles in the presence of supercooled water is most effective. As shown in several case studies using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with explicit microphysics, the LPI is highly correlated with observed lightning. It is suggested that the LPI may be a useful parameter for predicting lightning as well as a tool for improving weather forecasting of convective storms and heavy rainfall.
Flash floods cause some of the most severe natural disasters in Europe but Mediterranean areas are especially vulnerable. They can cause devastating damage to property, infrastructures and loss of human life. The complexity of flash flood generation processes and their dependency on different factors related to watershed properties and rainfall characteristics make flash flood prediction a difficult task. In this study, as part of the EU-FLASH project, we used an uncalibrated hydrological model to simulate flow events in a 27km2 Mediterranean watershed in Israel to analyze and better understand the various factors influencing flows. The model is based on the well-known SCS curve number method for rainfall-runoff calculations and on the kinematic wave method for flow routing. Existing data available from maps, GIS and field studies were used to define model parameters, and no further calibration was conducted to obtain a better fit between computed and observed flow data. The model rainfall input was obtained from the high temporal and spatial resolution radar data adjusted to rain gauges. Twenty flow events that occurred within the study area over a 15year period were analyzed. The model shows a generally good capability in predicting flash flood peak discharge in terms of their general level, classified as low, medium or high (all high level events were correctly predicted). It was found that the model mainly well predicts flash floods generated by intense, short-lived convective storm events while model performances for low and moderate flows generated by more widespread winter storms were quite poor. The degree of urban development was found to have a large impact on runoff amount and peak discharge, with higher sensitivity of moderate and low flow events relative to high flows. Flash flood generation was also found to be very sensitive to the temporal distribution of rain intensity within a specific storm event. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Recharge is a critical issue for water management. Recharge assessment and the factors affecting recharge are of scientific and practical importance. The purpose of this study was to develop a daily recharge assessment model (DREAM) on the basis of a water balance principle with input from conventional and generally available precipitation and evaporation data and demonstrate the application of this model to recharge estimation in the Western Mountain Aquifer (WMA) in Israel. The WMA (area 13,000 km2)isa karst aquifer that supplies 360–400 Mm3 yr−1 of freshwater, which constitutes 20% of Israel's freshwater and is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. DREAM was linked to a groundwater flow model (FEFLOW) to simulate monthly hydraulic heads and spring flows. The models were calibrated for 1987–2002 and validated for 2003– 2007, yielding high agreement between calculated and measured values (R2 = 0.95; relative root‐mean‐square error = 4.8%; relative bias = 1.04). DREAM allows insights into the effect of intra‐annual precipitation distribution factors on recharge. Although annual precipitation amount explains ∼70% of the variability in simulated recharge, analyses with DREAM indicate that the rainy season length is an important factor controlling recharge. Years with similar annual precipitation produce different recharge values as a result of temporal distribution throughout the rainy season. An experiment with a synthetic data set exhibits similar results, explaining ∼90% of the recharge variability. DREAM represents significant improvement over previous recharge estimation techniques in this region by providing near‐real‐time recharge estimates that can be used to predict the impact of climate variability on groundwater resources at high temporal and spatial resolution.
This paper summarises innovative research into the assessment of long-term groundwater recharge from flood events in dryland environments of the Kuiseb (Namibia) and the Buffels (South Africa) rivers. The integrated water resource management (IWRM) policies and institutions affecting the exploitation of groundwater resources in each of these developing countries are compared. The relatively large alluvial aquifer of the Kuiseb River (similar to 240 Mm(3)) is recharged from irregular floods originating in the upper catchment. Reported abstraction of 4.6 Mm(3) per year is primarily consumed in the town of Walvis Bay, although the groundwater decay (pumping and natural losses along the period 1983-2005) was estimated in 14.8 Mm(3) per year. Recharge is variable, occurring in 11 out of 13 years in the middle Kuiseb River, but only in 11 out of 28 years in the middle-lower reaches. In contrast, the Buffels River has relatively minor alluvial aquifers (similar to 11 Mm(3)) and recharge sources derive from both lateral subsurface flow and floodwater infiltration, the latter limited to a recharge maximum of 1.3 Mm(3) during floods occurring once every four years. Current abstractions to supply the adjacent rural population and a few small-scale, irrigated commercial farms are 0.15 Mm(3) yr (-aEuro parts per thousand 1), well within the long-term sustainable yield estimated to be 0.7 Mm(3) yr (-aEuro parts per thousand 1). Since independence in 1990, Namibia`s water resource management approach has focussed on ephemeral river basin management of which the Kuiseb Basin Management Committee (KBMC) is a model. Here, some water points are managed independently by rural communities through committees while the national bulk water supplier provides for Walvis Bay Municipality from the lower aquifers. This provides a sense of local ownership through local participation between government, NGOs and CBOs (community-based organisations) in the planning and implementation of IWRM. Despite the potential for water resource development in the lower Buffels River, the scope for implementing IWRM is limited not only by the small aquifer size, but also because basin management in South Africa is considered only in the context of perennial rivers. Since 2001, water service delivery in the Buffels River catchment has become the responsibility of two newly created local municipalities. As municipal government gains experience, skills and capacity, its ability to respond to local needs related to water service delivery will be accomplished through local participation in the design and implementation of annual `integrated development plans`. These two case studies demonstrate that a variety of IWRM strategies in the drylands of developing countries are appropriate depending on scales of governance, evolving policy frameworks, scales of need and limitations inherent in the hydrological processes of groundwater resources.