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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-766
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-766
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 02 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Characterization of the air-sea exchanges mechanisms during a Mediterranean heavy precipitation event using realistic sea state modelling

César Sauvage1, Cindy Lebeaupin Brossier1, Marie-Noëlle Bouin1,2, and Véronique Ducrocq1 César Sauvage et al.
  • 1CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 2CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, UBO/Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), UMR 6523, IUEM, Plouzané, France

Abstract. This study investigates the mechanisms acting at the air-sea interface during the heavy precipitation event that occurred between the 12–14 October 2016 over the north-western Mediterranean area, and that led to large amounts of rainfall (up to 300 mm in 24 h) over the Hérault region (South of France). The study case was characterized by a very strong easterly to southeasterly wind at low level (> 20 m/s) generating a very rough sea (significant wave height up to 6 m) along the French Riviera and the Gulf of Lion. In order to investigate the role of the waves on those air-sea exchanges during such extreme events a set of numerical experiments was designed using the Météo-France kilometer-scale AROME-France Numerical Weather Prediction model – including the WASP sea surface turbulent fluxes parametrization – and the wave model WaveWatchIII. Results from those sensitivity experiments in the forced or coupled modes showed that taking the waves generated by the model into account increases the surface roughness. Thus the easterly low-level atmospheric flow was slowed-down and the turbulent fluxes upstream of the precipitating system were significantly modified. This modified the forecast of the heaviest precipitation, notably in term of location.

César Sauvage et al.
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Short summary
Air-sea exchanges during Mediterranean heavy precipitation events are key and their representation must be improved for high-resolution weather forecasts. This study investigates the mechanisms acting at the air-sea interface during a case that occurred in the South of France. To focus on the impact of sea state, we developed and used an original coupled air-wave model. Results show modifications of the forecast for the air-sea fluxes, the near-surface wind and the location of the precipitation.
Air-sea exchanges during Mediterranean heavy precipitation events are key and their...
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