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Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 5, 603-612, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-5-603-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
 
03 Aug 2005
Sensitivity of quantitative precipitation forecasts to boundary layer parameterization: a flash flood case study in the Western Mediterranean
M. Zampieri, P. Malguzzi, and A. Buzzi ISAC – CNR, Via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy
Abstract. The "Montserrat-2000" severe flash flood event which occurred over Catalonia on 9 and 10 June 2000 is analyzed. Strong precipitation was generated by a mesoscale convective system associated with the development of a cyclone. The location of heavy precipitation depends on the position of the cyclone, which, in turn, is found to be very sensitive to various model characteristics and initial conditions.

Numerical simulations of this case study using the hydrostatic BOLAM and the non-hydrostatic MOLOCH models are performed in order to test the effects of different formulations of the boundary layer parameterization: a modified version of the Louis (order 1) model and a custom version of the E-ℓ (order 1.5) model. Both of them require a diagnostic formulation of the mixing length, but the use of the turbulent kinetic energy equation in the E-ℓ model allows to represent turbulence history and non-locality effects and to formulate a more physically based mixing length.

The impact of the two schemes is different in the two models. The hydrostatic model, run at 1/5 degree resolution, is less sensitive, but the quantitative precipitation forecast is in any case unsatisfactory in terms of localization and amount. Conversely, the non-hydrostatic model, run at 1/50 degree resolution, is capable of realistically simulate timing, position and amount of precipitation, with the apparently superior results obtained with the E-ℓ parameterization model.

Citation: Zampieri, M., Malguzzi, P., and Buzzi, A.: Sensitivity of quantitative precipitation forecasts to boundary layer parameterization: a flash flood case study in the Western Mediterranean, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 5, 603-612, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-5-603-2005, 2005.

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