Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1671–1678, 2009

Special issue: Advances in Mediterranean meteorology

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1671–1678, 2009

  09 Oct 2009

09 Oct 2009

High resolution simulations of a flash flood near Venice

S. Davolio1, D. Mastrangelo2, M. M. Miglietta3, O. Drofa1, A. Buzzi1, and P. Malguzzi1 S. Davolio et al.
  • 1Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, ISAC – CNR, Bologna, Italy
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Parthenope University of Naples, Naples, Italy
  • 3Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, ISAC – CNR, Padua, Italy

Abstract. During the MAP D-PHASE (Mesoscale Alpine Programme, Demonstration of Probabilistic Hydrological and Atmospheric Simulation of flood Events in the Alpine region) Operational Period (DOP, 1 June–30 November 2007) the most intense precipitation event observed south of the Alps occurred over the Venice Lagoon. In the early morning of 26 September 2007, a mesoscale convective system formed in an area of convergence between a south-easterly low level jet flowing along the Adriatic Sea and a north-easterly barrier-type wind south of the Alps, and was responsible for precipitation exceeding 320 mm in less than 12 h, 240 mm of which in only 3 h.

The forecast rainfall fields, provided by several convection resolving models operated daily for the D-PHASE project, have been compared. An analysis of different aspects of the event, such as the relevant mechanisms leading to the flood, the main characteristics of the MCS, and an estimation of the predictability of the episode, has been performed using a number of high resolution, convection resolving models (MOLOCH, WRF and MM5).

Strong sensitivity to initial and boundary conditions and to model parameterization schemes has been found. Although low predictability is expected due to the convective nature of rainfall, the forecasts made more than 24 h in advance indicate that the larger scale environment driving the dynamics of this event played an important role in favouring the achievement of a relatively good accuracy in the precipitation forecasts.