The regions surrounding the North West Mediterranean Sea are often sites of intense precipitation events, particularly during the autumn months. The many casualties and the high economic costs due to these events demand a continuous improvement in forecasting models in support of early warning systems. The main weather conditions that determine episodes of heavy rain over these regions are known, but the high number of processes and interactions taking place at different time and space scales makes it extremely difficult to increase the skill pertaining to their predictability. To deepen the knowledge of the phenomena, both numerical simulations and analysis of historical data sets are required. This paper presents the analysis of a five-year-long time series of rain data collected in the open Ligurian Sea from the fixed platform W1M3A and coastal stations. The analysis aims to characterize the main features of the precipitation over this area and its seasonal and annual variability. Furthermore, the work includes a description of the main atmospheric and oceanic surface parameters measured from the platform during some intense events that occurred in the period 2009–2013 and suggests to what extent offshore observations may contribute to improve the forecast of rainfall events.
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