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The Influence of an Increase of the Mediterranean Sea Surface Temperature on Two Nocturnal Offshore Rainbands: A Numerical Experiment
Open AccessArticle

Sensitivity of a Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclone to Different Model Configurations and Coupling Strategies

Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona 60121, Italy
Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC-CNR), Lecce 73100, Italy
Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR-CNR), Venice 30121, Italy
Department of Physics and NatRisk Center, University of Torino, Torino 10124, Italy
Centro Meteo Italiano, Roma 00198, Italy
NATO STO Center of Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), La Spezia 19124, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jordi Mazon and Anthony Lupo
Atmosphere 2017, 8(5), 92;
Received: 11 December 2016 / Revised: 15 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue WRF Simulations at the Mesoscale: From the Microscale to Macroscale)
In November 2011, an Atlantic depression affected the Mediterranean basin, eventually evolving into a Tropical-Like Cyclone (TLC or Mediterranean Hurricane, usually designated as Medicane). In the region affected by the Medicane, mean sea level pressures down to 990 hPa, wind speeds of hurricane intensity close to the eye (around 115 km/h) and intense rainfall in the prefrontal zone were reported. The intensity of this event, together with its long permanence over the sea, suggested its suitability as a paradigmatic case for investigating the sensitivity of a numerical modeling system to different configurations, air-sea interface parameterizations and coupling approaches. Toward this aim, a set of numerical experiments with different parameterization schemes and levels of coupling complexity was carried out within the Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Wave Sediment Transport System (COAWST), which allows the description of air-sea dynamics by coupling an atmospheric model (WRF), an ocean circulation model (ROMS), and a wave model (SWAN). The sensitivity to different initialization times and Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) parameterizations was firstly investigated by running a set of WRF standalone (atmospheric-only) simulations. In order to better understand the effect of coupling on the TLC formation, intensification and trajectory, different configurations of atmosphere-ocean coupling were subsequently tested, eventually including the full coupling among atmosphere, ocean and waves, also changing the PBL parameterization and the formulation of the surface roughness. Results show a strong sensitivity of both the trajectory and the intensity of this TLC to the initial conditions, while the tracks and intensities provided by the coupled modeling approaches explored in this study do not introduce drastic modifications with respect to those resulting from a fine-tuned standalone atmospheric run, though they provide by definition a better physical and energetic consistency. Nevertheless; the use of different schemes for the calculation of the surface roughness from wave motion, which reflects the description of air-sea interface processes, can significantly affect the results in the fully coupled runs. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropical-like cyclones; TLC; coupled model; sensitivity; PBL; surface roughness; WRF; SWAN; ROMS; COAWST tropical-like cyclones; TLC; coupled model; sensitivity; PBL; surface roughness; WRF; SWAN; ROMS; COAWST
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Ricchi, A.; Miglietta, M.M.; Barbariol, F.; Benetazzo, A.; Bergamasco, A.; Bonaldo, D.; Cassardo, C.; Falcieri, F.M.; Modugno, G.; Russo, A.; Sclavo, M.; Carniel, S. Sensitivity of a Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclone to Different Model Configurations and Coupling Strategies. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 92.

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