03 May 2022
03 May 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Supercell Convective Environments in Spain based on ERA5: Hail and Non-Hail Differences

Carlos Calvo-Sancho1, Javier Díaz-Fernández2, Yago Martín3, Pedro Bolgiani2, Mariano Sastre2, Juan Jesús González-Alemán4, Daniel Santos-Muñoz5, José Ignacio Farrán1, and María Luisa Martín1,6 Carlos Calvo-Sancho et al.
  • 1Department of Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Computer Engineering, University of Valladolid, Segovia, Spain
  • 2Department of Earth Physics and Astrophysics, Faculty of Physics, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 3Department of Geography, Faculty of History and Philosophy, University Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain
  • 4State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), Madrid, Spain
  • 5Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut, Copenhaguen, Denmark
  • 6Institute of Interdisciplinary Mathematics (IMI), Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Abstract. Severe convective storms, in particular supercells, are occasionally responsible for a large number of losses of property and damages in Spain. This paper aims to study the synoptic configurations and pre-convective environments in a dataset of 262 supercells during 2011–2020 in Spain. The events are grouped into supercells with hail (diameter larger than 5 cm) and without hail and the results are compared. ERA5 reanalysis data are used to study the synoptic configurations and soundings related to the supercell events at the initial and centroid time. Moreover, temperature, convective available potential energy, convective inhibition, lifting condensation level, level of free convection, height of freezing level, wind shear and storm-relative helicity are determined for each event. The results show that supercells are more frequent in the Mediterranean coast during the warm season. There are statistically significant differences between hail and non-hail events in the mentioned thermodynamic and kinematic-related parameters analyzed, such as supercells with hail environments characterized by higher median values of most-unstable convective available potential energy than supercells without hail.

Carlos Calvo-Sancho et al.

Status: open (until 22 Jun 2022)

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Carlos Calvo-Sancho et al.

Carlos Calvo-Sancho et al.


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Short summary
Supercells are amongst the most complex and dangerous severe convective storms due to their associated phenomena (lightning, strong winds, large hail, flash-floods, or tornadoes). In this survey we study the supercell synoptic configurations and convective environments in Spain using the atmospheric reanalysis ERA5. Moreover, supercells are grouped in hail (greater than 5 cm) and non-hail events in order to compare and analyze both groups. The results reveals statistical significant differences.