17 Oct 2023
 | 17 Oct 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Weather and Climate Dynamics (WCD).

A storm-relative climatology of compound hazards in Mediterranean cyclones

Raphaël Rousseau-Rizzi, Shira Raveh-Rubin, Jennifer Catto, Alice Portal, Yonatan Givon, and Olivia Martius

Abstract. Cyclones are responsible for much of the weather damage in the Mediterranean region, and while their association with individual weather hazards is well understood, their association with impactful multivariate compound hazards remains to be quantified. This study aims to establish a storm-relative climatology of three different multivariate hazards in Mediterranean cyclones. Namely, the co-occurrences of rain and wind, rain and wave, and particulate matter and heat are composited relative to storm centers. Composites are computed for various large-scale environments using a recent cyclone classification, which shows that few different large scale configurations lead to each compound event type. Compound rain and wind events are mostly associated with frontal cyclones and cyclones induced by anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking from late fall to early spring in the northern Mediterranean. Compound rain and wave events occur at similar times and locations, but are also associated with cyclonic Rossby wave breaking. Particulate matter and heat compound events are associated with heat lows, daughter cyclones and anticyclonic Rossby wave breaking in the warm season and over North-Africa. Next, we find that the probability of compounding associated with a cyclone class does not depend monotonically on the probabilities of the individual contributing hazards, but also on the goodness of their temporal and spatial correspondence. Finally, we find warm conveyor belts and cold fronts to frequently co-occur with rain and wind, and rain and wave events, while particulate matter and heat events are not strongly associated with dynamical features. These results, which systematically associate various large-scale environments and dynamical features to different compound event types, have implications for forecasting and climate risk predictions.

Raphaël Rousseau-Rizzi et al.

Status: open (until 30 Dec 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2322', Leonardo Aragão, 21 Nov 2023 reply

Raphaël Rousseau-Rizzi et al.

Raphaël Rousseau-Rizzi et al.


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Short summary
We aim to identify the situations when rain and wind, rain and wave, or heat and dust hazards co-occur within cyclones in the Mediterranean. These poorly understood hazard combinations respectively enhance the risk to infrastructure, the risk of coastal flooding, and the risk of respiratory issues. We identify distinct weather configurations and distinct cyclone structures, which favor distinct co-occurrence combinations. This has implications for the forecasting of these hazards.