Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-105
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-105

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models 28 May 2021

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models | 28 May 2021

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

Object-based analysis of simulated thunderstorms in Switzerland: application and validation of automated thunderstorm tracking on simulation data

Timothy Hugh Raupach1,2,a, Andrey Martynov1,2, Luca Nisi4, Alessandro Hering4, Yannick Barton1,2, and Olivia Martius1,2,3 Timothy Hugh Raupach et al.
  • 1Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Mobiliar Laboratory for Natural Risks, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 4Federal Office of Climatology and Meteorology MeteoSwiss, Locarno, Switzerland
  • apresent address: Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Abstract. We present a feasibility study for an object-based method to characterise thunderstorm properties in simulation data from convection-permitting weather models. An existing thunderstorm tracker, the Thunderstorm Identification, Tracking, Analysis and Nowcasting (TITAN) algorithm, was applied to thunderstorms simulated by the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (AR-WRF) weather model at convection-permitting resolution for a domain centred on Switzerland. Three WRF microphysics parameterisations were tested. The results are compared to independent radar-based observations of thunderstorms derived using the MeteoSwiss Thunderstorms Radar Tracking (TRT) algorithm. TRT was specifically designed to track thunderstorms over the complex Alpine topography of Switzerland. The object-based approach produces statistics on the simulated thunderstorms that can be compared to object-based observation data. The results indicate that the simulations underestimated the occurrence of severe and very large hail compared to the observations. Other properties, including the number of storm cells per day, geographical storm hotspots, thunderstorm diurnal cycles, and storm movement directions and velocities, provide a reasonable match to the observations, which shows the feasibility of the technique for characterisation of simulated thunderstorms over complex terrain.

Timothy Hugh Raupach et al.

Status: open (until 23 Jul 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Timothy Hugh Raupach et al.

Data sets

Thunderstorm tracks and hail properties derived from WRF simulation data for May 2018 over Switzerland Raupach, Timothy H. and Martinov, Andrey and Martius, Olivia https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4638486

WRF model fields for TITAN tracking of simulated storms, P3 microphysics scheme Martinov, Andrey and Raupach, Timothy H. and Martius, Olivia https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4808873

WRF model fields for TITAN tracking of simulated storms, Morrison microphysics scheme Martinov, Andrey and Raupach, Timothy H. and Martius, Olivia https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4784820

WRF model fields for TITAN tracking of simulated storms, Thompson microphysics scheme Martinov, Andrey and Raupach, Timothy H. and Martius, Olivia https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4784811

Model code and software

R Markdown for manuscript describing TITAN storm tracking of simulated thunderstorms Raupach, Timothy H. and Martynov, Andrey and Nisi, Luca and Hering, Alessandro and Barton, Yannick and Martius, Olivia https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4816842

traupach/modified_LROSE_utils: Initial release (modified code for utilities from LROSE, the LIDAR Radar Open Source Environment) Raupach, Timothy H. and Martinov, Andrey and Martius, Olivia https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4667843

traupach/stormtrack: Initial release (Code and parameters for tracking thunderstorms in WRF output and evaluating results) Raupach, Timothy H. and Martinov, Andrey and Martius, Olivia https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4667884

Timothy Hugh Raupach et al.

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Short summary
When simulated thunderstorms are compared to observations or other simulations, a match between overall storm properties is often more important than exact matches on individual storms. We tested a comparison method that uses a thunderstorm tracking algorithm to characterise simulated storms. For May 2018 in Switzerland, the method produced reasonable matches to independent observations for most storm properties, showing its feasibility for summarising simulated storms over mountainous terrain.