Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-239
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-239

  26 Mar 2021

26 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Towards kilometer-scale ocean-atmosphere-wave coupled forecast: a case study on a Mediterranean heavy precipitation event

César Sauvage1,a, Cindy Lebeaupin Brossier1, and Marie-Noëlle Bouin1,2 César Sauvage et al.
  • 1CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 2Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, Ifremer, University of Brest, CNRS, IRD, Brest, France
  • anow at: Physical Oceanography Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA

Abstract. The Western Mediterranean Sea area is frequently affected in autumn by heavy precipitation events (HPEs). These severe meteorological episodes, characterized by strong offshore low-level winds and heavy rain in a short period of time, can lead to severe flooding and wave-submersion events. This study aims to progress towards integrated short-range forecast system via coupled modelling for a better representation of the processes at the air–sea interface. In order to identify and quantify the coupling impacts, coupled ocean–atmosphere–wave simulations were performed for a HPE that occurred between October 12 and 14, 2016 in the South of France, using the coupled AROME-NEMO-WaveWatchIII system and notably compared to atmosphere only, coupled atmosphere–wave and ocean–atmosphere simulations. The results showed that the HPE fine-scale forecast is sensitive to both couplings: The interactive coupling with the ocean leads to significant changes in the heat and moisture supply of the HPE that intensify the convective systems, while coupling with a wave model mainly leads to changes in the low-level dynamics, affecting the location of the convergence that triggers convection over sea. Even if this first case study with the AROME-NEMO-WaveWatchIII system does not clearly show major changes in the forecasts with coupling and highlights some attention points to follow (ocean initialisation notably), it illustrates the higher realism and potential benefits of kilometer-scale coupled numerical weather prediction systems, in particular in case of severe weather events over sea and/or in coastal areas, and shows their affordability to confidently progress towards operational coupled forecasts.

César Sauvage et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-239', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-239', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 May 2021

César Sauvage et al.

César Sauvage et al.

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Short summary
Air-sea processes are key elements during Mediterranean heavy precipitation events. We aim to progress in their representation in high resolution weather forecast. Using coupled ocean-air-wave simulations we investigated air-sea mechanisms modulated by ocean and waves during a case that occurred in southern France. Results showed significant impact of the forecast on low-level dynamics and air-sea fluxes and illustrated potential benefits of coupled numerical weather prediction systems.
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