Preliminary results of a 30-year daily rainfall data base in southern Italy

Stefano Federico, Elenio Avolio, Loredana Pasqualoni, Leonardo De Leo, Anna Maria Sempreviva, Carlo Bellecci

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper presents first exploratory results and analyses performed on a 30-year (1978–2007) homogeneous precipitation database that has been created for the Calabria peninsula, southern Italy. The database consists of complete time series of daily values of precipitation from 88 stations distributed over the region. The database temporal resolution is one day while its spatial resolution is about 10 km. Calabria offers an interesting scenario for mesoclimatic studies in spatial and temporal rainfall variability. The region is located in the Central Mediterranean Basin, which has a strong seasonal variability that mirrors in large precipitation differences among seasons. The complex orography of the region leads to different exposures of the territory to the rain-bearing air masses and large differences in rainfall can occur in few tens of kilometers. Different kinds of Mediterranean storms are important for Calabria: a) storms originating in the lee of the Alps; b) storms that enter the Basin or develop in the western Mediterranean (Gulf of Lyon, Rhone valley, Iberia, Gibraltar); c) storms from northern Africa; d) storms moving over the central Mediterranean from Balkans and eastern Europe. Again, their interaction with local orography determines complex rainfall patterns and variability. In this paper, the maps of average values of precipitation, rain frequency, rain rate, persistence of rainfall and length of dry periods are presented. Precipitation spatial structure shows that the orography and the sea have a major role, while the seasonal dependence of rainfall unequivocally reveals the influence of the synoptic scale conditions. A large number of cast-studies of heavy precipitation events have been investigated in the past and several of them refer to the east side of Calabria. The results shown here confirm this issue in a climatological sense: despite the fact that yearly precipitation is larger on the west side of the peninsula, most intense rainstorms affect mainly the east side, which is favorably exposed to these storms. The current database represents a foundation for further investigations.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAtmospheric Research
    Volume94
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)641-651
    ISSN0169-8095
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Wind energy
    • Meteorology

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