SPHERA, a new Italian convection-permitting regional reanalysis: improving heavy-rainfall representation and describing hail-prone environments

Giordani, Antonio (2023) SPHERA, a new Italian convection-permitting regional reanalysis: improving heavy-rainfall representation and describing hail-prone environments, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Il futuro della terra, cambiamenti climatici e sfide sociali, 35 Ciclo.
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Extreme weather events related to deep convection are high-impact critical phenomena whose reliable numerical simulation is still challenging. High-resolution (convection-permitting) modeling setups allow to switch off physical parameterizations accountable for substantial errors in convection representation. A new convection-permitting reanalysis over Italy (SPHERA) has been produced at ARPAE to enhance the representation and understanding of extreme weather situations. SPHERA is obtained through a dynamical downscaling of the global reanalysis ERA5 using the non-hydrostatic model COSMO at 2.2 km grid spacing over 1995-2020. This thesis aims to verify the expectations placed on SPHERA by analyzing two weather phenomena that are particularly challenging to simulate: heavy rainfall and hail. A quantitative statistical analysis over Italy during 2003-2017 for daily and hourly precipitation is presented to compare the performance of SPHERA with its driver ERA5 considering the national network of rain gauges as reference. Furthermore, two extreme precipitation events are deeply investigated. SPHERA shows a quantitative added skill over ERA5 for moderate to severe and rapid accumulations in terms of adherence to the observations, higher detailing of the spatial fields, and more precise temporal matching. These results prompted the use of SPHERA for the investigation of hailstorms, for which the combination of multiple information is crucial to reduce the substantial uncertainties permeating their understanding. A proxy for hail is developed by combining hail-favoring environmental numerical predictors with observations of ESWD hail reports and satellite overshooting top detections. The procedure is applied to the extended summer season (April-October) of 2016-2018 over the whole SPHERA spatial domain. The results indicate maximum hail likelihood over pre-Alpine regions and the northern Adriatic sea around 15 UTC in June-July, in agreement with recent European hail climatologies. The method demonstrates enhanced performance in case of severe hail occurrences and the ability to separate between ambient signatures depending on hail severity.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Giordani, Antonio
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Deep Moist Convection, Convection-permitting Reanalysis, SPHERA, ERA5, Heavy Rainfall, Hail, Overshooting Top
Data di discussione
21 Giugno 2023

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