Assessment of an ensemble of ocean–atmosphere coupled and uncoupled regional climate models to reproduce the climatology of Mediterranean cyclones

  • This study aims to assess the skill of regional climate models (RCMs) at reproducing the climatology of Mediterranean cyclones. Seven RCMs are considered, five of which were also coupled with an oceanic model. All simulations were forced at the lateral boundaries by the ERA-Interim reanalysis for a common 20-year period (1989–2008). Six different cyclone tracking methods have been applied to all twelve RCM simulations and to the ERA-Interim reanalysis in order to assess the RCMs from the perspective of different cyclone definitions. All RCMs reproduce the main areas of high cyclone occurrence in the region south of the Alps, in the Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean Seas, as well as in the areas close to Cyprus and to Atlas mountains. The RCMs tend to underestimate intense cyclone occurrences over the Mediterranean Sea and reproduce 24–40 % of these systems, as identified in the reanalysis. The use of grid nudging in one of the RCMs is shown to be beneficial, reproducing about 60 % of the intense cyclones and keeping a better track of the seasonal cycle of intense cyclogenesis. Finally, the most intense cyclones tend to be similarly reproduced in coupled and uncoupled model simulations, suggesting that modeling atmosphere–ocean coupled processes has only a weak impact on the climatology and intensity of Mediterranean cyclones. This paper is a contribution to the special issue on Med-CORDEX, an international coordinated initiative dedicated to the multi-component regional climate modelling (atmosphere, ocean, land surface, river) of the Mediterranean under the umbrella of HyMeX, CORDEX, and Med-CLIVAR and coordinated by Samuel Somot, Paolo Ruti, Erika Coppola, Gianmaria Sannino, Bodo Ahrens, and Gabriel Jordà.

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Author:Emmanouil Flaounas, Fanni Dóra Kelemen, Heini WernliORCiDGND, Miguel Angel Gaertner, Marco Reale, Emilia Sanchez-Gomez, Piero Lionello, Sandro Calmanti, Zorica Podrascanin, Samuel Somot, Naveed Akhtar, Raquel Romera, Dario Conte
Parent Title (English):Climate dynamics
Place of publication:Berlin ; Heidelberg
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2016/11/28
Date of first Publication:2016/11/04
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/11/28
Page Number:18
First Page:1
Last Page:18
© The Author(s) 2016. This article is published with open access at Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3398-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie / Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0