Richard Rotunno, NCAR, Boulder, CO, USA

Dynamics of Precipitating Cumulus Convection

  • Lecture 1. Ordinary Cells;
  • Lecture 2. Squall Lines;
  • Lecture 3. Supercells;
  • Lecture 4. Predictability of Convective Systems.


Warm-season precipitating cumulus clouds have certain modes of behavior that depend on the amount of ambient atmospheric instability and vertical wind shear. In these lectures, we will review the basics of these phenomena starting from the isolated cumulus rain cell (Lecture 1), progress through quasilinear, long-lasting systems of cells (Lecture 2) to special long-lasting cells (Lecture 3) to general systems of cells that, in addition to convective instability and vertical wind shear, are influenced by other factors such as the Coriolis force (Lecture 4).


Chris Kidd, NASA/GSFC and University of Maryland, USA

Lectures on: Precipitation remote sensing from space

  • Lecture 1. Mapping precipitation and relevance of satellite systems;
  • Lecture 2. Visible and Infrared techniques and products;
  • Lecture 3. Microwave and merged techniques and products;
  • Lecture 4. Validation and data products.


These lectures will outline the range of satellite systems and sensors that are employed in the remote sensing of precipitation. Past, present and future systems will be examined, covering both the low Earth orbiting and geostationary satellite sensors. Techniques for the retrieval of precipitation from visible/infrared and microwave sensors will be explained, together with techniques to merge precipitation estimates from different sources, including satellite, surface and models. The validation of the satellite-derived products will be presented, together with the availability and access to the precipitation products. The capability of mapping precipitation from space will be framed within the context of real-world examples.


Véronique Ducrocq, CNRM, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France

lectures on: Phenomenology of heavy rain events

  • Lecture 1. Types of heavy rain events;
  • Lecture 2. Meteorological environment for heavy rain;
  • Lecture 3. Heavy precipitation in Mediterranean;
  • Lecture 4. Modeling heavy precipitation.


These lectures will first go over the climatological characteristics and different types of heavy rain over the world and will highlight the meteorological phenomena leading to heavy precipitation. The basic ingredients in the meteorological environment for heavy convective precipitation will be explained. Then, a state-of-the-art review of the knowledges on heavy precipitation events that frequently occurred over the Mediterranean region will be given. Finally, the last lecture will outline the challenges of modeling heavy precipitation, with both regional climate models and numerical weather prediction systems.


Vincenzo Levizzani, CNR/ISAC, Bologna, Italy

Lectures on: Precipitation formation mechanisms: Microphysics and cloud structure

  • Lecture 1. Cloud structure and cloud classification. Measuring the cloud physical environment. Drop size distributions;
  • Lecture 2. Warm cloud microphysics: nucleation, diffusional growth, collision/coalescence, breakup;
  • Lecture 3. Mixed clouds and cloud ice: ice nuclei, diffusional growth, supercooled drops, riming, melting, Bergeron-Findeisen process, graupels and hail;
  • Lecture 4. Sensing clouds from remote: a difficult quantitative challenge.


The series of four lectures will address the basic principles of cloud physics from microphysics to bulk processes in a precipitating cloud. The physical mechanisms will be described in some detail providing the physical basis on cloud structure necessary to understand the dynamics and the precipitation formation mechanisms. A final outlook will be given on how modern cloud physics has come out of the laboratory to measure real cloud parameters and how these measurements translate into the basics of retrievals of cloud structure and precipitation intensity. Relevant literature and study material will be introduced for in depth studies.


Mario Montopoli, CNR/ISAC, Rome, Italy

Lectures on: Precipitation remote sensing from ground based radars

  • Lecture 1. Theoretical back ground (Measurement principle, radar eq., measurement issues);
  • Lecture 2. Radar products and interpretation (Reflectivity, Doppler, particle's classification, proxies of convection);
  • Lecture 3. Radar algorithms for quantitative analysis (Processing chain, rain retrievals, forward and inverse models);
  • Lecture 4. Practical examples, exercises and unconventional applications
(Notable examples, anonymous test, bird detection, volcanic applications, where to get data).


The lecture is aimed to give to participants a practical overview of ground based weather radar applications and its use in various contexts of the atmosphere remote sensing. 
Participants are not required to have particular specific knowledge in advance, although familiarity with basic concepts of math physic and atmosphere sciences would facilitate 
comprehension. At the end of the four modules foreseen the participants will have the capability to interpret a radar map, independently decide which product fit their specific needs, recognize situations of less reliable data quality and similar practical expertise.


Piero Lionello, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy

The Mediterranean Storm Track And Its Link To Precipitation Events


The first part of the lecture describes cyclone tracking and assesses the level of consensus among cyclone detection and tracking methods in the Mediterranean region, where small (but intense) features and frequent cyclogenesis characterize a well-defined branch of the North Hemisphere storm track. The second part describes the link between winter (December-January-February) precipitation events at Mediterranean coastal locations and cyclones. Also links to North Hemisphere Teleconnection Patterns are briefly described.