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Predicting small-scale, short-lived downbursts : case study with the NWP limited-area ALARO model for the Pukkelpop thunderstorm

(2015) MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW. 143(3). p.742-756
Author
Organization
Abstract
The authors consider a thunderstorm event in 2011 during a music festival in Belgium that produced a short-lived downburst of a diameter of less than 100 m. This is far too small to be resolved by the kilometric resolutions of today's operational numerical weather prediction models. Operational forecast models will not run at hectometric resolutions in the foreseeable future. The storm caused five casualties and raised strong societal questions regarding the predictability of such a traumatic weather event.In this paper it is investigated whether the downdrafts of a parameterization scheme of deep convection can be used as proxies for the unresolved downbursts. To this end the operational model ALARO [a version of the Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grande Echelle-Aire Limitee Adaptation Dynamique Developpement International (ARPEGE-ALADIN) operational limited area model with a revised and modular structure of the physical parameterizations] of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium is used. While the model in its operational configuration at the time of the event did not give a clear hint of a downburst event, it has been found that (i) the use of unsaturated downdrafts and (ii) some adaptations of the features of this downdraft parameterization scheme, specifically the sensitivity to the entrainment and friction, can make the downdrafts sensitive enough to the surrounding resolved-scale conditions to make them useful as indicators of the possibility of such downbursts.
Keywords
Downbursts, Cold pools, Thunderstorms, Operational forecasting, Convective parameterization, SQUALL LINE, BOW ECHOES, PART I, PRECIPITATION, CONVECTION, DOWNDRAFT, PARAMETERIZATION, MESOVORTICES, EVAPORATION, EVOLUTION

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MLA
De Meutter, Pieter et al. “Predicting Small-scale, Short-lived Downbursts : Case Study with the NWP Limited-area ALARO Model for the Pukkelpop Thunderstorm.” MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW 143.3 (2015): 742–756. Print.
APA
De Meutter, P., Gerard, L., Smet, G., Hamid, K., Hamdi, R., Degrauwe, D., & Termonia, P. (2015). Predicting small-scale, short-lived downbursts : case study with the NWP limited-area ALARO model for the Pukkelpop thunderstorm. MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW, 143(3), 742–756.
Chicago author-date
De Meutter, Pieter, Luc Gerard, Geert Smet, Karim Hamid, Rafiq Hamdi, Daan Degrauwe, and Piet Termonia. 2015. “Predicting Small-scale, Short-lived Downbursts : Case Study with the NWP Limited-area ALARO Model for the Pukkelpop Thunderstorm.” Monthly Weather Review 143 (3): 742–756.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Meutter, Pieter, Luc Gerard, Geert Smet, Karim Hamid, Rafiq Hamdi, Daan Degrauwe, and Piet Termonia. 2015. “Predicting Small-scale, Short-lived Downbursts : Case Study with the NWP Limited-area ALARO Model for the Pukkelpop Thunderstorm.” Monthly Weather Review 143 (3): 742–756.
Vancouver
1.
De Meutter P, Gerard L, Smet G, Hamid K, Hamdi R, Degrauwe D, et al. Predicting small-scale, short-lived downbursts : case study with the NWP limited-area ALARO model for the Pukkelpop thunderstorm. MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW. 2015;143(3):742–56.
IEEE
[1]
P. De Meutter et al., “Predicting small-scale, short-lived downbursts : case study with the NWP limited-area ALARO model for the Pukkelpop thunderstorm,” MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW, vol. 143, no. 3, pp. 742–756, 2015.
@article{6855529,
  abstract     = {The authors consider a thunderstorm event in 2011 during a music festival in Belgium that produced a short-lived downburst of a diameter of less than 100 m. This is far too small to be resolved by the kilometric resolutions of today's operational numerical weather prediction models. Operational forecast models will not run at hectometric resolutions in the foreseeable future. The storm caused five casualties and raised strong societal questions regarding the predictability of such a traumatic weather event.In this paper it is investigated whether the downdrafts of a parameterization scheme of deep convection can be used as proxies for the unresolved downbursts. To this end the operational model ALARO [a version of the Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grande Echelle-Aire Limitee Adaptation Dynamique Developpement International (ARPEGE-ALADIN) operational limited area model with a revised and modular structure of the physical parameterizations] of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium is used. While the model in its operational configuration at the time of the event did not give a clear hint of a downburst event, it has been found that (i) the use of unsaturated downdrafts and (ii) some adaptations of the features of this downdraft parameterization scheme, specifically the sensitivity to the entrainment and friction, can make the downdrafts sensitive enough to the surrounding resolved-scale conditions to make them useful as indicators of the possibility of such downbursts.},
  author       = {De Meutter, Pieter and Gerard, Luc and Smet, Geert and Hamid, Karim and Hamdi, Rafiq and Degrauwe, Daan and Termonia, Piet},
  issn         = {0027-0644},
  journal      = {MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW},
  keywords     = {Downbursts,Cold pools,Thunderstorms,Operational forecasting,Convective parameterization,SQUALL LINE,BOW ECHOES,PART I,PRECIPITATION,CONVECTION,DOWNDRAFT,PARAMETERIZATION,MESOVORTICES,EVAPORATION,EVOLUTION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {742--756},
  title        = {Predicting small-scale, short-lived downbursts : case study with the NWP limited-area ALARO model for the Pukkelpop thunderstorm},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-14-00290.1},
  volume       = {143},
  year         = {2015},
}

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