Impact of model resolution and initial/boundary conditions in forecasting flood-causing precipitations

Francesco Ferrari, Federico Cassola, Peter Enos Tuju, Alessandro Stocchino, Paolo Brotto, Andrea Mazzino

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In late summer and autumn Mediterranean coastal regions are quite regularly affected by small-scale, flood-producing convective systems. The complexity of mesoscale triggering mechanisms, related to low-level temperature gradients, moisture convergence, and topographic effects contributes to limit the predictability of such phenomena. In the present work, a severe convection episode associated to a flash flood occurred in Cannes (southern France) in October 2015, is investigated by means of numerical simulations with a state-of-the-art nonhydrostatic mesoscale model. In the modelling configuration operational at the University of Genoa precipitation maxima were underestimated and misplaced. The impact of model resolution as well as initial and boundary conditions on the quantitative precipitation forecasts is analyzed and discussed. In particular, the effect of ingesting a high-resolution satellite-derived sea surface temperature field is proven to be beneficial in terms of precipitation intensity and localization, especially when also associated with the most accurate lateral boundary conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number592
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Initial and boundary conditions
  • Mediterranean flash floods
  • Numerical weather prediction
  • Quantitative precipitation forecast
  • Severe convection
  • SST
  • Weather hazard
  • WRF model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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