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

Sauvage, César ; Lebeaupin Brossier, Cindy ; Bouin, Marie-Noëlle

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<p align=justify>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 an integrated short-range forecast system via coupled modeling 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 12 and 14 October 2016 in the south of France. The experiment using the coupled AROME-NEMO-WaveWatchIII system was 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 the sea.</p> <p align="justify">Result analysis of 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 initialization notably). Nonetheless, it illustrates the higher realism and potential benefits of kilometer-scale coupled numerical weather prediction systems, in particular in the case of severe weather events over the sea and/or in coastal areas, and shows their affordability to confidently progress towards operational coupled forecasts.</p>
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