Cold cloud climatology over Europe and the Mediterranean during the warm season from Meteosat IR imagery

Pinelli, Francesca (2010) Cold cloud climatology over Europe and the Mediterranean during the warm season from Meteosat IR imagery, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Modellistica fisica per la protezione dell'ambiente, 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3101.
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Thermal infrared (IR, 10.5 – 12.5 m) images from the Meteosat Visible and Infrared Imager (MVIRI) of cold cloud episodes (cloud top brightness temperature < 241 K) are used as a proxy of precipitating clouds to derive a warm season (May-August) climatology of their coherency, duration, span, and speed over Europe and the Mediterranean. The analysis focuses over the 30°-54°N, 15°W-40°E domain in May-August 1996-2005. Harmonic analysis using discrete Fourier transforms is applied together with a statistical analysis and an investigation of the diurnal cycle. This study has the objective to make available a set of results on the propagation dynamics of the cloud systems with the aim of assist numerical modellers in improving summer convection parameterization. The zonal propagation of cold cloud systems is accompanied by a weak meridional component confined to narrow latitude belts. The persistence of cold clouds over the area evidences the role of orography, the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Balkans and Anatolia. A diurnal oscillation is found with a maximum marking the initiation of convection in the lee of the mountains and shifting from about 1400 UTC at 40°E to 1800 UTC at 0°. A moderate eastward propagation of the frequency maximum from all mountain chains across the domain exists and the diurnal maxima are completely suppressed west of 5°W. The mean power spectrum of the cold cloud frequency distribution evidences a period of one day all over Europe disappearing over the ocean (west of 10°W). Other maxima are found in correspondence of 6 to 10 days in the longitudes from 15° W to 0° and indicate the activity of the westerlies with frontal passage over the continent. Longer periods activities (from 15 up to 30 days) were stronger around 10° W and from 5° W to 15° E and are likely related to the Madden Julian Oscillation influence. The maxima of the diurnal signal are in phase with the presence of elevated terrain and with land masses. A median zonal phase speed of 16.1 ms-1 is found for all events ≥ 1000 km and ≥ 20 h and a full set of results divided by years and recurrence categories is also presented.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Pinelli, Francesca
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Clouds Warm season Mediterranean sea Remote sensing Satellite Meteorology
Data di discussione
14 Giugno 2010

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