Dynamics of Bora wind over the Adriatic sea: atmospheric water balance and role of air-sea fluxes and orography

Henin, Riccardo (2015) Dynamics of Bora wind over the Adriatic sea: atmospheric water balance and role of air-sea fluxes and orography. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Fisica del sistema terra [LM-DM270]
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The Bora wind is a mesoscale phenomenon which typically affects the Adriatic Sea basin for several days each year, especially during winter. The Bora wind has been studied for its intense outbreak across the Dinaric Alps. The properties of the Bora wind are widely discussed in the literature and scientific papers usually focus on the eastern Adriatic coast where strong turbulence and severe gust intensity are more pronounced. However, the impact of the Bora wind can be significant also over Italy, not only in terms of wind speed instensity. Depending on the synoptic pressure pattern (cyclonic or anticyclonic Bora) and on the season, heavy snowfall, severe storms, storm surges and floods can occur along the Adriatic coast and on the windward flanks of the Apennines. In the present work five Bora cases that occurred in recent years have been selected and their evolution has been simulated with the BOLAM-MOLOCH model set, developed at ISAC-CNR in Bologna. Each case study has been addressed by a control run and by several sensitivity tests, performed with the purpose of better understanding the role played by air-sea latent and sensible heat fluxes. The tests show that the removal of the fluxes induces modifications in the wind approching the coast and a decrease of the total precipitation amount predicted over Italy. In order to assess the role of heat fluxes, further analysis has been carried out: column integrated water vapour fluxes have been computed along the Italian coastline and an atmospheric water balance has been evaluated inside a box volume over the Adriatic Sea. The balance computation shows that, although latent heat flux produces a significant impact on the precipitation field, its contribution to the balance is relatively minor. The most significant and lasting case study, that of February 2012, has been studied in more detail in order to explain the impressive drop in the total precipitation amount simulated in the sensitivity tests with removed heat fluxes with respect to the CNTRL run. In these experiments relative humidity and potential temperature distribution over different cross-sections have been examined. With respect to the CNTRL run a drier and more stable boundary layer, characterised by a more pronounced wind shear at the lower levels, has been observed to establish above the Adriatic Sea. Finally, in order to demonstrate that also the interaction of the Bora flow with the Apennines plays a crucial role, sensitivity tests varying the orography height have been considered. The results of such sensitivity tests indicate that the propagation of the Bora wind over the Adriatic Sea, and in turn its meteorological impact over Italy, is influenced by both the large air-sea heat fluxes and the interaction with the Apennines that decelerate the upstream flow.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Henin, Riccardo
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Bora, precipitation, water vapour, water balance, heat fluxes, orography
Data di discussione della Tesi
23 Luglio 2015

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