Cut-off lows are common features of Mediterranean meteorology in warm months and are often related to severe weather. The present work introduces a classification of cut-off episodes, based on the vertical extension of the depression and the presence of a linked surface vortex, also analyzing precipitation patterns. Ten years of warmseason ERA-40 reanalysis, available every six hours on a 2.5 2.5 grid, are processed to extract a database of cutoff lows and surface cyclones, along with the related total and convective precipitation at the ground. The high temporal resolution of the dataset permits a detailed characterization of short lasting events, so far poorly analyzed. The results show the relative abundance (41% of the total) of cut-off events lasting less than 24 hrs, sharing most of the characteristics of longer living cut-off in terms of structures and precipitation pattern. A large part of the 273 events identified in our database, about 54%, appear as high level signatures of depressions extending through a large portion of the troposphere, and in 38% of cases a well defined cyclonic structure is found at the ground. Most of these events carry precipitation, with relatively high rainrates over wide areas, with well developed frontal rain bands. Among the cut-off events without a deep vertical structure (46%), about half do not produce precipitation, while the others produce relatively high rain-rates, although confined to small areas, indicating the presence of convective systems developing beneath the cut-off low system. Such precipitation patterns are also confirmed at smaller scales by cloud resolving model runs. Finally, cutoff lows characterized by relatively high potential vorticity values in the mid-upper troposphere seem to have the potential for precipitation.

A study on cut-off low vertical structure and precipitation in the Mediterranean region

PORCU', Federico;PRODI, Franco;
2007

Abstract

Cut-off lows are common features of Mediterranean meteorology in warm months and are often related to severe weather. The present work introduces a classification of cut-off episodes, based on the vertical extension of the depression and the presence of a linked surface vortex, also analyzing precipitation patterns. Ten years of warmseason ERA-40 reanalysis, available every six hours on a 2.5 2.5 grid, are processed to extract a database of cutoff lows and surface cyclones, along with the related total and convective precipitation at the ground. The high temporal resolution of the dataset permits a detailed characterization of short lasting events, so far poorly analyzed. The results show the relative abundance (41% of the total) of cut-off events lasting less than 24 hrs, sharing most of the characteristics of longer living cut-off in terms of structures and precipitation pattern. A large part of the 273 events identified in our database, about 54%, appear as high level signatures of depressions extending through a large portion of the troposphere, and in 38% of cases a well defined cyclonic structure is found at the ground. Most of these events carry precipitation, with relatively high rainrates over wide areas, with well developed frontal rain bands. Among the cut-off events without a deep vertical structure (46%), about half do not produce precipitation, while the others produce relatively high rain-rates, although confined to small areas, indicating the presence of convective systems developing beneath the cut-off low system. Such precipitation patterns are also confirmed at smaller scales by cloud resolving model runs. Finally, cutoff lows characterized by relatively high potential vorticity values in the mid-upper troposphere seem to have the potential for precipitation.
Porcu', Federico; A., Carrassi; C. M., Medaglia; Prodi, Franco; A., Mugnai
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/519873
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