Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for

  • Author or Editor: Agata Moscatello x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Agata Moscatello, Mario Marcello Miglietta, and Richard Rotunno

Abstract

The presence of a subsynoptic-scale vortex over the Mediterranean Sea in southeastern Italy on 26 September 2006 has been recently documented by the authors. The transit of the cyclone over land allowed an accurate diagnosis of the structure of the vortex, based on radar and surface station data, showing that the cyclone had features similar to those observed in tropical cyclones. To investigate the cyclone in greater depth, numerical simulations have been performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, set up with two domains, in a two-way-nested configuration. Model simulations are able to properly capture the timing and intensity of the small-scale cyclone. Moreover, the present simulated cyclone agrees with the observational analysis of this case, identifying in this small-scale depression the typical characteristics of a Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone. An analysis of the mechanisms responsible for the genesis, development, and maintenance of the cyclone has also been performed. Sensitivity experiments show that cyclogenesis on the lee side of the Atlas Mountains is responsible for the generation of the cyclone. Surface sensible and latent heat fluxes become important during the subsequent phase of development in which the lee-vortex shallow depression evolved as it moved toward the south of Sicily. During this phase, the latent heating, associated with convective motions triggered by a cold front entering the central Mediterranean area, was important for the intensification and contraction of the horizontal scale of the vortex. The small-scale cyclone subsequently deepened as it moved over the Ionian Sea and then maintained its intensity during its later transit over the Adriatic Sea; in this later stage, latent heat release continued to play a major role in amplifying and maintaining the vortex, while the importance of the surface fluxes diminished.

Full access
Sante Laviola, Agata Moscatello, Mario Marcello Miglietta, Elsa Cattani, and Vincenzo Levizzani

Abstract

Two heavy rain events over the Central Mediterranean basin, which are markedly different by genesis, dimensions, duration, and intensity, are analyzed. Given the relative low frequency of this type of severe storms in the area, a synoptic analysis describing their development is included. A multispectral analysis based on geostationary multifrequency satellite images is applied to identify cloud type, hydrometeor phase, and cloud vertical extension. Precipitation intensity is retrieved from (i) surface rain gauges, (ii) satellite data, and (iii) numerical model simulations. The satellite precipitation retrieval algorithm 183-Water vapor Strong Lines (183-WSL) is used to retrieve rain rates and cloud hydrometeor type, classify stratiform and convective rainfall, and identify liquid water clouds and snow cover from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-B (AMSU-B) sensor data. Rainfall intensity is also simulated with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) numerical model over two nested domains with horizontal resolutions of 16 km (comparable to that of the satellite sensor AMSU-B) and 4 km. The statistical analysis of the comparison between satellite retrievals and model simulations demonstrates the skills of both methods for the identification of the main characteristics of the cloud systems with a suggested overall bias of the model toward very low rain intensities. WRF (in the version used for the experiment) seems to classify as low rain intensity regions those areas where the 183-WSL retrieves no precipitation while sensing a mixture of freshly nucleated cloud droplets and a large amount of water vapor; in these areas, especially adjacent to the rain clouds, large amounts of cloud liquid water are detected. The satellite method performs reasonably well in reproducing the wide range of gauge-detected precipitation intensities. A comparison of the 183-WSL retrievals with gauge measurements demonstrates the skills of the algorithm in discriminating between convective and stratiform precipitation using the scattering and absorption of radiation by the hydrometeors.

Full access