Special Issue "Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclones (Medicanes)"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018
It is well known that the Mediterranean Sea is an important cyclogenetic area. Most of its cyclones have synoptic-scale and baroclinic origin; however, intense mesoscale vortices have sometimes been observed with features closely resembling those of tropical cyclones, though smaller in size. These cyclones are generally called Medicanes, a short name for “Mediterranean hurricanes”, or Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones (TLCs). Numerical simulations have shown that the latent heat release associated with convection and air–sea interaction processes are fundamental for their intensification, while baroclinic instability is important in the early stages of their lifetime. In recent years, a renewed interest in this topic is emerging, due both to the important social impact of these vortices, which may affect the coasts with intense winds and heavy precipitation, and to the implications of climate change for their intensity and location. While a number of papers shed some light on the mechanisms of formation and intensification, several questions are still subject of debate in the scientific community, ranging from the criteria for a reliable definition of Medicanes to their classification as a peculiar category or as member of an extensive category including also polar lows and subtropical cyclones.
Dr. Mario Marcello Miglietta
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- Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones
- mesoscale meteorology
- air-sea interaction
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Tentative Title: Multi-physics ensemble versus atmosphere-wave-ocean coupled model simulations for a Tropical-Like Cyclone in the Mediterranean Sea
Authors: Antonio Ricchi (1), Mario Marcello Miglietta (2), Davide Bonaldo(1), Umbero Rizza (2), Aniello Russo (3), and Sandro Carniel (1)
(1) ISMAR-CNR, Venice, Italy
(2) ISAC-CNR, Lecce, Italy,
(3) Marche Polytechnic University, Marche Polytechnic University, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Piano di Sorrento, Italy
In the period 19-22 January 2014, a baroclinic wave from the Atlantic region generated a cut-off low over the Strait of Gibraltar. The resulting depression remained active for approximately 80 hours, moving along the Mediterranean Sea from west to east to the north of the African coast, then crossing the Tyrrhenian Sea before landing over central Italy. The cyclone crossed the Italian peninsula and reinvigorated over the Adriatic Sea, before turning southward.
Using the Hart diagram for an objective classification of its characteristics, we found that the cyclone gained tropical-like features during the first phase (close to the Balearic Islands) and during its transit over the Adriatic Sea. The limited predictability of this event suggests the need of an ensemble methodology for a proper prediction of the cyclone. Two different approaches, comparable in terms of computational cost, are analyzed here. In the former, an ensemble, using around 10 different microphysics and turbulence schemes available in the WRF (Weather Research for Forecasting) model, is employed. In the latter, the COAWST suite (Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Wave Sediment Transport Modelling System), including WRF as atmospheric model, ROMS as ocean model, SWAN as wave model, is used.
In order to better evaluate the benefit of using a coupled modeling system, the air-sea interaction processes are taken into account at different levels of complexity, using respectively the sea surface temperature (SST) provided by a spectro-radiometer at 8.3 km resolution, and by the MFS model fields (provided by the CMEMS portal) at approximately 6 km resolution (in both cases the SST is updated every 6 hours). These simulations are compared with a COAWST run using a two-way atmosphere-ocean coupled configuration and two-way atmosphere-ocean-wave coupling.
Results show that coupled simulations reproduce less intense sea surface heat fluxes, which result in better TLC tracks, more realistic timing and cyclone intensity in comparison with standalone simulations, even when the latter use an updated high-resolution SST as lower boundary condition. Thus, our suggestion is that the available computational resources should be better employed for a coupled model configuration than for a multi-physics approach in the simulation of a Mediterranean TLC, at least in the present case study.