Articles | Volume 11, issue 5
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1233–1246, 2011

Special issue: 11th Plinius Conference on Mediterranean Storms

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1233–1246, 2011

  03 May 2011

03 May 2011

Numerical simulation of a deep Mediterranean storm and its sensitivity on sea surface temperature

P. Katsafados1, E. Mavromatidis1, A. Papadopoulos2, and I. Pytharoulis3 P. Katsafados et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Harokopio University of Athens, 70 El. Venizelou Str., P.O. Box 17671, Athens, Greece
  • 2Institute of Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, P.O. Box 712, 19013, Anavyssos Attikis, Greece
  • 3Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract. The development and evolution of a deep low-pressure system over the Eastern Mediterranean has been investigated in comparative numerical experiments with a limited area model using climatological, gridded analyses, satellite-derived and high-resolution re-analysis sea surface temperatures (SSTs) as lower boundary conditions. The severe event of 21–22 January 2004 was selected in view of its strength and considerable impact on the coastal communities of the Northern Aegean Sea. The aim of this study is to investigate the sensitivity of storm development and intensity to the different SST sources. High resolution model simulations were performed resolving mesoscale features modulated by the different source of SSTs. Although the atmospheric response was considerable in terms of rain bands and surface fluxes, the general structure of the system was not significantly affected by the different air-sea interaction forcing. The impact on the model performance (and therefore its forecasting skill) was further assessed on the basis of quantitative verification statistics estimated throughout the period of the simulations. The methodology was based on the verification against surface observations from the World Meteorological Organization network, covering Southern Greece and the coastal areas of Western Turkey. The estimated statistical scores revealed small but noticeable deviations among the forecast skills of the simulations.