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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 16, issue 2 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 431-447, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-431-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 11 Feb 2016

Research article | 11 Feb 2016

Seeking key meteorological parameters to better understand Hector

S. Gentile1 and R. Ferretti1,2 S. Gentile and R. Ferretti
  • 1Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences/CETEMPS, University of L'Aquila, Via Vetoio, 67010 Coppito, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 2Danish Meteorological Institute, Lyngbyvej 100, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract. Twelve Hector events, a storm which develops in northern Australia, are analyzed with the aim of identifying the main meteorological parameters involved in the storm's convective development. Based on Crook's ideal study (Crook, 2001), wind speed and direction, wind shear, water vapor, convective available potential energy and type of convection are the parameters used for this analysis. Both the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analysis and high-resolution simulations from the Fifth-Generation Mesoscale Model (MM5) are used. The MM5 simulations are used to connect the mean vertical velocity to the total condensate at the maximum stage and to study the dynamics of the storms. The ECMWF analyses are used to evaluate the initial conditions and the environmental fields contributing to Hector's development. The analysis suggests that the strength of convection, defined in terms of vertical velocity, largely contributes to the vertical distribution of hydrometeors. The role of total condensate and mean lifting versus low-level moisture, convective available potential energy, surface wind and direction is analyzed for shear and no-shear conditions to evaluate the differences between type A and B for real events. Results confirm the tendency suggested by Crook's analysis. However, Crook's hypothesis of low-level moisture as the only parameter that differentiates between type A and B can only be applied if the events develop in the same meteorological conditions. Crook's tests also helped to assess how the meteorological parameters contribute to Hector's development in terms of percentage.

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Twelve Hector events, a storm which develops in northern Australia, are analyzed with the aim of identifying the main meteorological parameters involved in the convective development. The analysis suggests that the strength of convection, defined in terms of vertical velocity, largely contributes to the vertical distribution of hydrometeors.
Twelve Hector events, a storm which develops in northern Australia, are analyzed with the aim of...
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