New peer-reviewed papers accepted

27.11.14: New peer-reviewed papers from us were accepted this fall.
Susanna Mohr

Kunz, M., and P. I. S. Kugel, 2015: Detection of hail signatures from single-polarization C-band radar reflectivity. Atmos. Res, 2015, 153, 565-577, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2014.09.010.


Five different criteria that estimate hail signatures from single-polarization radar data are statistically evaluated over a 15-year period by categorical verification against loss data provided by a building insurance company. The criteria consider different levels or thresholds of radar reflectivity, some of them complemented by estimates of the 0 °C level or cloud top temperature. Applied to reflectivity data from a single C-band radar in southwest Germany, it is found that all criteria are able to reproduce most of the past damage-causing hail events. However, the criteria substantially overestimate hail occurrence by up to 80%, mainly due to the verification process using damage data. Best results in terms of highest Heidke Skill Score HSS or Critical Success Index CSI are obtained for the Hail Detection Algorithm (HDA) and the Probability of Severe Hail (POSH). Radar-derived hail probability shows a high spatial variability with a maximum on the lee side of the Black Forest mountains and a minimum in the broad Rhine valley.

Ehmele, F., Ch. Barthlott, and U. Corsmeier, 2015: The influence of Sardinia on Corsican rainfall in the western Mediterranean Sea: A numerical sensitivity study. Atmos. Res, 2015, 153, 451-464, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2014.10.004.


The interaction of orographic effects and moisture availability is of high importance to the precipitation amount and distribution in the western Mediterranean and neighboring land surfaces. In particular, the forecast of heavy precipitation events is still a challenge for operational weather forecast models. In this study, the thermal and dynamical interactions between the two neighboring islands of Corsica and Sardinia in the western Mediterranean Sea are investigated using the COnsortium for Small-scale MOdeling (COSMO) model. Six cases with different synoptic conditions are analyzed and the dependance of the Corsican rainfall on the presence and terrain characteristics of Sardinia is investigated. Besides a reference run with standard model orography, sensitivity runs with removed and flat island of Sardinia are performed. The numerical results show that the daily precipitation amount over Corsica can increase by up to 220% of the amount from the reference run. Whereas most of the sensitivity runs show a decrease of the precipitation amount under strong synoptic forcing, there is no systematic relationship on days with weak synoptic forcing. The differences in the precipitation amount are induced by (i) missing deviation or missing blocking of the southerly flow by Sardinia and (ii) by the influence of cold pools generated by deep convection over Sardinia. These differences can be attributed to changes of low-level convergence and moisture/heat content and their effect on thermodynamic parameters, like convective available potential energy or convective inhibition. Furthermore, the position and translation speed of frontal systems over Corsica on days with strong synoptic forcing also depend on the Sardinian orography. These results demonstrate the high sensitivity of numerical weather prediction to the interaction of neighboring mountainous islands.