Articles | Volume 18, issue 9
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2309–2330, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-2309-2018
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2309–2330, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-2309-2018

Research article 31 Aug 2018

Research article | 31 Aug 2018

Monitoring, cataloguing, and weather scenarios of thunderstorm outflows in the northern Mediterranean

Massimiliano Burlando1, Shi Zhang1,2,3, and Giovanni Solari1 Massimiliano Burlando et al.
  • 1Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (DICCA), University of Genoa, Genoa 16145, Italy
  • 2School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
  • 3Beijing's Key Laboratory of Structural Wind Engineering and Urban Wind Environment, Beijing 100044, China

Abstract. High sampling rate (10 Hz) anemometric measurements of the Wind, Ports, and Sea monitoring network in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea have been analysed to extract the thunderstorm-related signals and catalogue them into three families according to the different time-scale of each event, subdivided among 10 min, 1, and 10 h events. Their characteristics in terms of direction of motion and seasonality/daily occurrence have been analysed: the results showed that most of the selected events come from the sea and occur from 12:00 to 00:00 UTC during the winter season. In terms of peak wind speed, the strongest events all belonged to the 10 min family, but no systematic correlation was found between event duration and peaks.

Three events, each one representative of the corresponding class of duration, have been analysed from the meteorological point of view, in order to investigate their physical nature. According to this analysis, which was mainly based on satellite images, meteorological fields obtained from GFS analyses related to convection in the atmosphere, and lightning activity, the thunderstorm-related nature of the 10 min and 1 h events was confirmed. The 10 h event turned out to be a synoptic event, related to extra-tropical cyclone activity.

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Short summary
Thunderstorms are difficult phenomena to measure systematically, as they occur randomly in space and time, have short duration and limited size. Recently, a large anemometric network for thunderstorm outflow monitoring and cataloguing has been created in the northern Mediterranean. This paper analyses about 200 events to study their seasonality, advection, duration, and intensity. The link between wind speed records, meteorological events, and weather scenarios is investigated.
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