Da Silva, Nicolas A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3255-9274 and Härter, Jan O. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8617-3847 (2023) The Precipitation Characteristics of Mesoscale Convective Systems Over Europe. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 128 (23). DOI https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JD039045.

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Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are common over Europe and can produce severe weather, including extreme precipitation that leads to flash floods. The few studies analyzing the climatological characteristics of MCSs over Europe are either focusing on only few years of data or on limited subareas. Using the recent Integrated MultisatellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG) satellite precipitation climatology, we identify and track MCSs for 16 years over Europe. The tracking algorithm relies on the overlap of precipitation features between consecutive time steps and, unlike previous studies, uses lightning data to distinguish convective from stratiform rain patches, which can reduce potential identification errors. We analyze this new European MCS climatology to characterize MCS precipitation properties and conclude the following results: MCSs overall occur most frequently over the Mediterranean and Atlantic during fall and winter, whereas during summer, they concentrate over the continent. Typically, more than a third of seasonal precipitation can be attributed to MCSs, and their contribution to extreme precipitation is even greater, often exceeding 60%. MCSs over the continent display a clear diurnal cycle peak during the afternoon, and some continental areas also show a second, nocturnal peak. The MCS diurnal cycle for coastal and oceanic regions is more variable. We find that the spatiotemporal distribution of MCS precipitation can be attributed to specific environmental variables, namely (sea) surface temperature, fronts occurrence and convective instability. While inland MCS precipitation is mostly constrained by thermodynamics, for the coastal MCSs the atmospheric dynamics plays an important role as well.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Integrated Modelling > Complexity and Climate
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JD039045
ISSN: 2169-897X
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2023 09:51
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2023 09:51
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/5293

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