During the night between 9 and 10 September 2017, multiple flash floods associated with a heavy-precipitation event affected the town of Livorno, located in Tuscany, Italy. Accumulated precipitation exceeding 200 mm in two hours was recorded. This rainfall intensity is associated with a return period of higher than 200 years. As a consequence, all the largest streams of the Livorno municipality flooded several areas of the town. We used the limited-area weather research and forecasting (WRF) model, in a convection-permitting setup, to reconstruct the extreme event leading to the flash floods. We evaluated possible forecasting improvements emerging from the assimilation of local ground stations and X- and S-band radar data into the WRF, using the configuration operational at the meteorological center of Tuscany region (LaMMA) at the time of the event. Simulations were verified against weather station observations, through an innovative method aimed at disentangling the positioning and intensity errors of precipitation forecasts. A more accurate description of the low-level flows and a better assessment of the atmospheric water vapor field showed how the assimilation of radar data can improve quantitative precipitation forecasts.

Assimilating X- and S-Band Radar Data for a Heavy Precipitation Event in Italy

Antonio Ricchi
Methodology
;
2021

Abstract

During the night between 9 and 10 September 2017, multiple flash floods associated with a heavy-precipitation event affected the town of Livorno, located in Tuscany, Italy. Accumulated precipitation exceeding 200 mm in two hours was recorded. This rainfall intensity is associated with a return period of higher than 200 years. As a consequence, all the largest streams of the Livorno municipality flooded several areas of the town. We used the limited-area weather research and forecasting (WRF) model, in a convection-permitting setup, to reconstruct the extreme event leading to the flash floods. We evaluated possible forecasting improvements emerging from the assimilation of local ground stations and X- and S-band radar data into the WRF, using the configuration operational at the meteorological center of Tuscany region (LaMMA) at the time of the event. Simulations were verified against weather station observations, through an innovative method aimed at disentangling the positioning and intensity errors of precipitation forecasts. A more accurate description of the low-level flows and a better assessment of the atmospheric water vapor field showed how the assimilation of radar data can improve quantitative precipitation forecasts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/169392
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