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

Raupach, Timothy H.; Martynov, Andrey; Nisi, Luca; Hering, Alessandro; Barton, Yannick; Martius, Olivia

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.

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Raupach, Timothy H. / Martynov, Andrey / Nisi, Luca / et al: Object-based analysis of simulated thunderstorms in Switzerland: application and validation of automated thunderstorm tracking with simulation data. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Timothy H. Raupach et al.

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