Severe Weather (severe + weather)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Terms modified by Severe Weather

  • severe weather event

  • Selected Abstracts

    Preliminary climatology and improved modelling of south Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean mid-latitude cyclones

    Bruce W. Buckley
    Abstract The intense mid-latitude cyclones that traverse the southern waters of the Indian Ocean, between South Africa and southwestern Western Australia, are among the strongest depressions found anywhere in the world, outside tropical waters. Near-surface winds that exceed storm force (i.e. 24 m/s or 48 knots), and central pressures of 960 hPa and lower, are relatively common for these systems. They pose a constant threat to both open ocean and coastal shipping, and regularly generate severe weather over the populated southwestern corner of Australia. Large ocean waves and swell produce extensive coastal inundation and erosion. There were two main aims in this study. The first aim was to develop a preliminary climatology of these intense mid-latitude cyclones, for the region 20,60 S, 30,130 E. The climatology, which is the first that we are aware of for this notoriously data-sparse region, is based largely upon satellite observations, particularly scatterometer data, and is supplemented by ship, buoy and all available land observations. The climatology revealed that, historically, the frequency and intensity of the mid-latitude cyclones in this domain have been significantly underestimated. This underestimation has resulted in analyses that have serious flaws, and the resultant operational forecasts provided to the duty forecasters in the regional forecast centre located in Perth, Western Australia, are of highly variable quality. A number of other climatological features of these storms are discussed in this article. The second aim was to identify the factors that can contribute to a significant improvement in model forecasts of these storms. So far, there have been very few studies of explosively developing cyclones over this part of the world. Results are presented here from a series of high-resolution numerical simulations of an intense cool season Southern Ocean cyclone that developed in 2003, using the HIRES numerical weather prediction model developed by L.M. Leslie. Here, we examine the sensitivity of the cyclone predictions to both model resolution and the initial analyses. The predicted variables of most interest are the central pressure, maximum sustained near-surface wind speeds, extent of storm-force winds, and the horizontal and vertical structure of the storm. Increased detail in the initial state is provided mainly by the assimilation into the archived global operational analyses of high-resolution satellite-derived data, including QuikSCAT scatterometer winds and sea-surface temperatures. The combination of increased horizontal and vertical model resolution, and improved initial model states, was found to produce numerical forecasts with significantly more accurate wind speeds than those obtained from the coarser resolution operational models, which also did not have the benefits of all the additional data. Finally, areas of future research are outlined, including coupling the HIRES atmospheric model with ocean and wave models, to improve forecasts of the sea state, including wind wave heights, swell and storm surges. Copyright 2004 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

    Use of medium-range ensembles at the Met Office 2: Applications for medium-range forecasting

    M V Young
    The term ,medium range' is taken to refer to forecasts for lead times ranging from about 2 or 3 days ahead up to about 10 days ahead. A wide variety of numerical model products are available to the forecaster nowadays, and one of the most important of these is the ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System (EPS). This paper shows how forecasters at the Met Office use these products, in particular the EPS, in an operational environment in the production of medium-range forecasts for a variety of customers, and illustrates some of the techniques involved. Particular reference is made to the PREVIN post-processing system for the EPS which is described in the companion paper by Legg et al. (2002). Forecast products illustrated take the form of synoptic charts (produced primarily via Field Modification software), text guidance and other graphical formats. The probabilistic approach to forecasting is discussed with reference to various examples, in particular the application of the EPS in providing early warnings of severe weather for which risk assessment is increasingly important. A central theme of this paper is the vital role played by forecasters in interpreting the output from the models in terms of the likely weather elements, and using the EPS to help assess confidence levels for a particular forecast as well as possible alternative synoptic evolutions. Verification statistics are presented which demonstrate how the EPS helps the forecaster to add value to the wide range of individual deterministic model products and that furthermore, the forecaster can improve upon many probabilistic products derived directly from the ensemble. Copyright 2002 Royal Meteorological Society. [source]

    Storm prediction over Europe using the ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System

    Roberto Buizza
    Three severe storms caused great damage in Europe in December 1999. The first storm hit Denmark and Germany on 3 and 4 December, and the other two storms crossed France and Germany on 26 and 28 December. In this study, the performance of the Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) in predicting these intense storms is investigated. Results indicate that the EPS gave early indications of possible severe storm occurrence, and was especially useful when the deterministic TL319L60 forecasts issued on successive days were highly inconsistent. These results indicate that the EPS is a valuable tool for assessing quantitatively the risk of severe weather and issuing early warnings of possible disruptions. The impact of an increase of the ensemble system horizontal resolution (TL255 integration from a TL511 analysis instead of the operational TL159 integration from a TL319 analysis) on the system performance is also investigated. Results show that the resolution increase enhances the ensemble performance in predicting the position and the intensity of intense storms. Copyright 2002 Royal Meteorological Society. [source]

    Multi-sensor synthesis of the mesoscale structure of a cold-air comma cloud system

    K A Browning
    A multiscale study of a cold-air comma cloud that produced an area of heavy rain and locally severe weather has been undertaken by synthesising data from a research microwave Doppler radar and VHF and UHF Doppler wind profilers, along with routinely available radar-network, satellite, in situ and mesoscale-model data. The rain area was generated in the exit region of an upper-level jet characterised by laminated velocity perturbations. Some of the perturbations were attributable to inertia-gravity wave activity. The rain area itself is shown to have been composed of a well-organised set of mesoscale rainbands each being due to a mixture of upright and slantwise convection. The existence of the multiple rainbands may have been related to the multi-layered atmospheric structure upwind. Each of the rainbands had cold-frontal and warm-frontal portions, so as to form a series of mini warm sectors stacked along the axis of the comma cloud at roughly 70 km intervals. The multiple rainbands were accompanied by multiple fingers of overrunning low-,w air from part of a dry intrusion originating from just below a major tropopause fold. The fold contained an intense potential-vorticity maximum which appeared to be the focus of the overall system. The operational mesoscale version of the Met. Office's Unified Model, with its 12 km grid, is shown to have resolved many but not all of the key features of the rainbands. It is suggested that further improvements in very-short-range forecasting of important local detail could be achieved by further increasing its resolution and assimilating more mesoscale observational data. Copyright 2002 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

    Designing safety space in a supply chain to handle system-wide disruptions

    Murthy Mudrageda
    Abstract In some supply chains serious disruptions are system wide. This happens during periods of severe weather, as when storms cause shuttle tankers serving oil platforms in the North Sea to stop movements of crude oil, barges are frozen in the Mississippi, or all airplanes are grounded after a blizzard. Other notable instances of system-wide disruption happened after the attack on the World Trade Center when all aircraft were grounded and the natural gas and crude-oil pipelines were tangled by hurricanes in 2005. We model a situation where shutting down supply facilities is very difficult and expensive because of excessive inventory buildup from an inability to move out the production. We present a planning model that balances the cost of spare capacity versus shutting down production when planning for disruptions. The model uses an assignment model embedded in a simulation. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2007 [source]

    The Mythologeme of Siberia

    ORBIS LITERARUM, Issue 6 2006
    On the Concept of a Siberian Motif in Russian Literature
    This article is deals with the literary image of Siberia in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature. Siberia became more than just a locale in both Russian literature and in the public consciousness: it became a particular concept, a complex idea. Traditionally associated with severe weather, long dark winters and later the proverbial place of penal servitudes, Siberia as a topos began to be unconsciously interpreted as the mythological "land of the dead." The author analyzes a wide range of examples from texts by Ryleev, Pushkin, Nekrasov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Erofeev and others, and illustrates that by placing their characters in Siberia, Russian writers follow the old archetypal plot of initiation. Surviving in Siberia is hence interpreted as coming back from the dead , a social, psychological or emotional rebirth. [source]

    The effects of wording on the understanding and use of uncertainty information in a threshold forecasting decision

    Susan L. Joslyn
    Many believe that information about small chances of severe weather would be useful to the general public for precautionary action. What is the best way to explain this kind of information to a non-expert audience? The studies reported here investigated effects of framing (negative vs. positive), format (frequency vs. probability), likelihood (low vs. high) and compatibility (task-match) on interpretation of verbal expressions of forecast uncertainty and on subsequent forecasting decisions. The crucial factor was the match between the verbal expression and the overall task goal. Errors increased when there was a mismatch between the expression (e.g. winds less than 20,knots) and the task (e.g. post an advisory when winds will exceed 20,knots). However, framing and format had little impact. We conclude that consideration of user expectations arising from the overall task goal is crucial in explaining uncertainty information to a nave audience. Global expectations overpower other potential effects. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    A high-resolution modelling case study of a severe weather event over New Zealand

    Stuart Webster
    Abstract In this article, the ability of the Met Office Unified Model to simulate the severe weather over the South Island of New Zealand, on 8 January 2004 is investigated. Simulations were run at horizontal resolutions of between 60 and 1 km. The modelled broad-scale rainfall and wind features, most notably the area-averaged accumulated rainfall, were found to converge with resolution. At the highest resolutions, all the observed rainfall and wind features of this event were captured well by the model. Even the 12-km-resolution model is able to resolve the broad elongated ridge-like structure of the Southern Alps and qualitatively capture the main features of the rainfall and wind fields. Copyright 2008 Royal Meteorological Society and Crown Copyright 2008, published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]