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etemadian E, dostan R. Spatial analysis of heat waves in Iran. Journal of Spatial Analysis Environmental Hazards 2017; 4 (1) :17-32
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-2697-en.html
1- , doostan@um.ac.ir
Abstract:   (5825 Views)

Climate risks are the inherent features of Earth's climate. The occurence of heat wave is one of these natural phenomena. Heat waves, one of the basic appearances of climate change, are very important because of frequency and damage of life and property, (Haddow et al, 2008). Frequency of heat wave occurence in recent years, is one of the aspects of climatic changes and extreme weather (Matthies et al, 2008), and resulted in heavy financial loss and increasing p mortality. From statistical point of view, heat waves are the positive changes and upper extremes of maximum average daily temperature, which continuing during consecutive days, weeks or months in certain geographical areas. According to the available definitions, two dimensions of time and space are important in the occurrence or non-occurrence of heat waves  (Smith,2013). Due to the positive slope of temperature and increase in temperature extremes and many changes in values of maximum temperature in Iran, main purpose of this study is the spatial and time distribution of heat waves on the plateau of Iran.

The daily maximum temperatures recorded in 49 synoptic stations of 31 years (1980-2010) climate normal period were used for the spatial distribution of heat waves. In order to determine heat waves, using the 95th percentile index, the temperature threshold for each month and each station was determined separately. The reason of studying heat waves in the monthly scale is temperature differences and different consequences in different parts of Iran, as an example, maximum temperature 30 degrees in May for south of Iran is normal, but for the northern regions of Iran is a heat wave and causes damage. So the basis in this study is determining heat waves and spatial differences of these phenomena in monthly scale. In this study, the heat wave has been defined as temperatures above the 95th percentile threshold per month, continuing for three days and more. So with specifying the threshold temperature for each month at each station in different parts of the country, temperatures above the threshold continuing for three days and more, defined as a heat wave for each month and the spatial distribution of heat waves was plotted in the whole area of Iran plateau for each month. In order to determine changes in heat waves in the whole country, the number of heat waves has been specified for the whole country in three decades (80-90-2000).

The spatial distribution of heat waves: Maximum temperature thresholds are related to the southeastern, southwestern and southern stations; and the lowest thresholds are northern coast and northwest mountains stations. In general, the minimum temperature thresholds are visible in the northern half and towards the heights; however, the maximum thresholds are visible in southern half. In this temperature variable, the role of latitude and altitude is dominant in lines with the same threshold of extreme temperature like other temperatures properties in Iran. Spatial variations of this temperature parameter throughout the year, increased from the Caspian Sea and North West of Iran to the South East and South West of Iran. In the entire study period, the number of heat waves in different parts of Iran indicates that most heat waves were occurred in the mountainous regions of Iranbased on the zoning temperature Alijani. The number of heat waves decreased from this area to the north and south coastal areas and East of and Central of Caspian has the lowest number of heat waves during the entire period of the study in Iran.

Time, temporal and decade distribution of heat waves: Time changes in heat waves shows increasing trend, As we can see the increase in the number of heat waves, from mid-90s and then, in 2010 most of it.Also, the 5-year average and decade-long average of heat waves, show a significant increasing trends and the most of the heat waves occur in Iran during 2000s. Time series of heat waves in Iran; show a significant increase over time.Hence, from the late 90's onwards, the spatial average of heat waves rather than the average before these years has increased. Iranian plateau in 1992 and 2010 has experienced the minimum and maximum of heat waves, respectively.

The results showed the minimum temperature threshold along the heights in northern half of the country and maximum temperature threshold at the southern half. Spatial variations of this thermal parameter throughout the year, is increased from the Caspian Sea coast and the North West of Iran toward the South East and the South West of the country. In general, this parameter that is associated with the extreme temperatures in Iran is under latitude and heights distributions the same as distribution of maximum temperature areas in Iran. But spatial distribution of heat waves as a natural hazard is different from the distribution thresholds and maximum temperatures. So that, the most heat waves are in Zagros Mountains, the East foothills of Zagros, South of Western and central Alborz and also southern Binalud foothills in the North East. The number of heat waves is reduced toward the center of Iran and the Great Plains (Lut and Kavir deserts). The minimum heat waves occur on the coasts of Caspian Sea, southern coasts of Iran, South-West and West Zagros and central Iran. The occurrence of heat waves in Iran have an average between 9 and 14 heat waves during all months of the year except for May with a maximum of 6 heat waves and June, with a maximum of 16 heat waves (months of minimum and maximum occurrence, respectively). This shows minimum increase in cold months and maximum increase in warm months. Therefore, the occurrence of heat waves in Iran is possible in warm and cold periods of whole year and there is a little difference between these two periods. This indicates both internal (local) and external factors (air masses) involved in occurrence of heat waves in Iran. The number of heat waves increase and decrease since January and June, respectively. This temporal sequence is disrupted by a sharp decrease in May (6 heat waves less than previous month).

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: General
Received: 2017/07/11 | Accepted: 2017/07/11 | Published: 2017/07/11

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