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Towards the end of the week (18th to 24th February), there were floods in Italy and Greece. After a quick check to the EFI, it was evident that the Italian event had not been captured by ENS as a potentially severe weather case. The ENSgram for Catania (even in the very short range) does not show large amounts of accumulated precipitation. The event is likely to be linked to local effects that the model may not be able to resolve.

Much better the forecast for Athens: the short range forecast indicated up to a max of 45mm/24h (median: 20mm/24h). Some indications that the event might be 'severe' was already evident 3 days ahead, but the spread of ENS was rather large. The EFI maps showed a weak signal for 'severe' weather event only a couple of days in advance


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  1. Thank you Anna for the report! This reminds me of the flood event in Germany which I roughly presented during the course OP II.  Here, ECMWF highly underestimated the rainfall amount even one day in advance. The forecast for regions in which lifting due to mountains had a strong influence had been especially poor. Probably the weak resolution of orology in ECMWF is a main reason. Do you think this was the case for the forecast weakness for the italian event in the mountainous region around Catania as well?

  2. Anna Ghelli AUTHOR

    This is a beautiful image showing the convective nature of the rain in Italy. One of the convective cells is over Catania (21st February 2013 at 15.00UTC).

    from EUMETSAT website