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A. Senatore, S. Davolio, L. Furnari, and G. Mendicino

Abstract

Reliable reanalysis products can be exploited to drive mesoscale numerical models and generate high-resolution reconstructions of high-impact weather events. Within this framework, regional weather and climate models may greatly benefit from the recent release of the ERA5 product, an improvement to the ERA-Interim dataset. In this study, two different convection-permitting models driven by these two reanalysis datasets are used to reproduce three heavy precipitation events affecting a Mediterranean region. Moreover, different sea surface temperature (SST) initializations are tested to assess how higher-resolution SST fields improve the simulation of high-impact events characterized by strong air–sea interactions. Finally, the coupling with a distributed hydrological model allows evaluating the impact at the ground, specifically assessing the possible added value of the ERA5 dataset for the high-resolution simulation of extreme hydrometeorological events over the Calabria region (southern Italy). Results, based on the comparison against multiple-source precipitation observations, show no clear systematic benefit to using the ERA5 dataset; moreover, intense convective activity can introduce uncertainties masking the signal provided by the boundary conditions of the different reanalyses. The effect of the high-resolution SST fields is even more difficult to detect. The uncertainties propagate and amplify along the modeling chain, where the spatial resolution increases up to the hydrological model. Nevertheless, even in very small catchments, some of the experiments provide reasonably accurate results, suggesting that an ensemble approach could be suitable to cope with uncertainties affecting the overall meteo-hydrological chain, especially for small catchments.

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B. Wolf, C. Chwala, B. Fersch, J. Garvelmann, W. Junkermann, M. J. Zeeman, A. Angerer, B. Adler, C. Beck, C. Brosy, P. Brugger, S. Emeis, M. Dannenmann, F. De Roo, E. Diaz-Pines, E. Haas, M. Hagen, I. Hajnsek, J. Jacobeit, T. Jagdhuber, N. Kalthoff, R. Kiese, H. Kunstmann, O. Kosak, R. Krieg, C. Malchow, M. Mauder, R. Merz, C. Notarnicola, A. Philipp, W. Reif, S. Reineke, T. Rödiger, N. Ruehr, K. Schäfer, M. Schrön, A. Senatore, H. Shupe, I. Völksch, C. Wanninger, S. Zacharias, and H. P. Schmid

Abstract

ScaleX is a collaborative measurement campaign, collocated with a long-term environmental observatory of the German Terrestrial Environmental Observatories (TERENO) network in the mountainous terrain of the Bavarian Prealps, Germany. The aims of both TERENO and ScaleX include the measurement and modeling of land surface–atmosphere interactions of energy, water, and greenhouse gases. ScaleX is motivated by the recognition that long-term intensive observational research over years or decades must be based on well-proven, mostly automated measurement systems, concentrated in a small number of locations. In contrast, short-term intensive campaigns offer the opportunity to assess spatial distributions and gradients by concentrated instrument deployments, and by mobile sensors (ground and/or airborne) to obtain transects and three-dimensional patterns of atmospheric, surface, or soil variables and processes. Moreover, intensive campaigns are ideal proving grounds for innovative instruments, methods, and techniques to measure quantities that cannot (yet) be automated or deployed over long time periods. ScaleX is distinctive in its design, which combines the benefits of a long-term environmental-monitoring approach (TERENO) with the versatility and innovative power of a series of intensive campaigns, to bridge across a wide span of spatial and temporal scales. This contribution presents the concept and first data products of ScaleX-2015, which occurred in June–July 2015. The second installment of ScaleX took place in summer 2016 and periodic further ScaleX campaigns are planned throughout the lifetime of TERENO. This paper calls for collaboration in future ScaleX campaigns or to use our data in modelling studies. It is also an invitation to emulate the ScaleX concept at other long-term observatories.

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