18.1 The HyMeX SOP1 field campaign

Friday, 22 August 2014: 10:30 AM
Kon Tiki Ballroom (Catamaran Resort Hotel)
Evelyne Richard, University of Toulouse and CNRS, Toulouse, France; and V. Ducrocq

The Mediterranean region is frequently affected by heavy precipitation events associated with flash floods, landslides, and mudslides that cause hundreds of millions of euros in damages per year and often, casualties. Within the framework of the 10-year international HyMeX (Hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment, Drobinski et al., BAMS, 2014) , a major field campaign (HyMeX SOP1) was devoted to heavy precipitation and flash floods (Ducrocq et al., BAMS, 2014). This 2-month field campaign took place from 5 Sept. to 6 Nov. 2012 over the North-western Mediterranean Sea and its surrounding coastal regions in France, Italy, and Spain.

The observation strategy was devised to improve our knowledge on the following key components leading to heavy precipitation and flash flooding in the region: i) the marine atmospheric flows that transport moist and conditionally unstable air towards the coasts; ii) the Mediterranean Sea acting as a moisture and energy source; iii) the dynamics and microphysics of the convective systems producing heavy precipitation; iv) the hydrological processes during flash floods.

The presentation will provide the rationale for developing this first HyMeX field experiment and an overview of its design and execution. Highlights of some Intense Observation Periods will illustrate the potential of the unique dataset collected for process understanding, model improvement and data assimilation. Special focus will be put on the interactions between convection and orographic flows.

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