The sensitivity to sea surface temperature (SST) of small-scale, flood-causing convective systems in Mediterranean coastal areas is analyzed by means of mesoscale numerical simulations. Two different SST initializations are considered: a coarse field provided by a global atmospheric model and a high-resolution multisatellite analysis. Quantitative precipitation forecasts are evaluated for a number of recent severe rainfall episodes in Liguria (northwestern Italy). In several cases, using a higher-resolution SST leads to more realistic precipitation estimates in the forecasting range 36-48 h. In the shorter range, the satellite SST has a limited, or even negative, impact, due to the relatively slow adjustment of initial atmospheric fields. In one case, the satellite SST is beneficial for the only run forced with accurate large-scale initial conditions. The results of this work suggest that a potentially significant improvement in severe precipitation forecasting in the Mediterranean could be achieved using realistic small-scale SST fields.

The role of the sea on the flash floods events over Liguria (northwestern Italy)

CASSOLA, FEDERICO;FERRARI, FRANCESCO;MAZZINO, ANDREA;
2016-01-01

Abstract

The sensitivity to sea surface temperature (SST) of small-scale, flood-causing convective systems in Mediterranean coastal areas is analyzed by means of mesoscale numerical simulations. Two different SST initializations are considered: a coarse field provided by a global atmospheric model and a high-resolution multisatellite analysis. Quantitative precipitation forecasts are evaluated for a number of recent severe rainfall episodes in Liguria (northwestern Italy). In several cases, using a higher-resolution SST leads to more realistic precipitation estimates in the forecasting range 36-48 h. In the shorter range, the satellite SST has a limited, or even negative, impact, due to the relatively slow adjustment of initial atmospheric fields. In one case, the satellite SST is beneficial for the only run forced with accurate large-scale initial conditions. The results of this work suggest that a potentially significant improvement in severe precipitation forecasting in the Mediterranean could be achieved using realistic small-scale SST fields.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/862782
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