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2014 .

(2 publications)

A. Belmadani, V. Echevin, F. Codron, K. Takahashi, and C. Junquas. What dynamics drive future wind scenarios for coastal upwelling off Peru and Chile? Climate Dynamics, 43:1893-1914, October 2014. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The dynamics of the Peru-Chile upwelling system (PCUS) are primarily driven by alongshore wind stress and curl, like in other eastern boundary upwelling systems. Previous studies have suggested that upwelling-favorable winds would increase under climate change, due to an enhancement of the thermally-driven cross-shore pressure gradient. Using an atmospheric model on a stretched grid with increased horizontal resolution in the PCUS, a dynamical downscaling of climate scenarios from a global coupled general circulation model (CGCM) is performed to investigate the processes leading to sea-surface wind changes. Downscaled winds associated with present climate show reasonably good agreement with climatological observations. Downscaled winds under climate change show a strengthening off central Chile south of 35degS (at 30degS-35degS) in austral summer (winter) and a weakening elsewhere. An alongshore momentum balance shows that the wind slowdown (strengthening) off Peru and northern Chile (off central Chile) is associated with a decrease (an increase) in the alongshore pressure gradient. Whereas the strengthening off Chile is likely due to the poleward displacement and intensification of the South Pacific Anticyclone, the slowdown off Peru may be associated with increased precipitation over the tropics and associated convective anomalies, as suggested by a vorticity budget analysis. On the other hand, an increase in the land-sea temperature difference is not found to drive similar changes in the cross-shore pressure gradient. Results from another atmospheric model with distinct CGCM forcing and climate scenarios suggest that projected wind changes off Peru are sensitive to concurrent changes in sea surface temperature and rainfall.

M.-S. Deroche, M. Choux, F. Codron, and P. Yiou. Three variables are better than one: detection of european winter windstorms causing important damages. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 14:981-993, April 2014. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

In this paper, we present a new approach for detecting potentially damaging European winter windstorms from a multi-variable perspective. European winter windstorms being usually associated with extra-tropical cyclones (ETCs), there is a coupling between the intensity of the surface wind speeds and other meso-scale and large-scale features characteristic of ETCs. Here we focus on the relative vorticity at 850 hPa and the sea level pressure anomaly, which are also used in ETC detection studies, along with the ratio of the 10 m wind speed to its 98th percentile. When analysing 10 events known by the insurance industry to have caused extreme damages, we find that they share an intense signature in each of the 3 fields. This shows that the relative vorticity and the mean sea level pressure have a predictive value of the intensity of the generated windstorms. The 10 major events are not the most intense in any of the 3 variables considered separately, but we show that the combination of the 3 variables is an efficient way of extracting these events from a reanalysis data set.

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