Synoptic-mesoscale analysis and numerical modeling of a tornado event on 12 February 2010 in northern Greece
1Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
2Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Abstract. Tornadoes are furious convective weather phenomena, with the maximum frequency over Greece during the cold period (autumn, winter).This study analyzes the tornado event that occurred on 12 February 2010 near Vrastama village, at Chalkidiki's prefecture, a non urban area 45 km southeast of Thessaloniki in northern Greece. The tornado developed approximately between 17:10 and 17:35 UTC and was characterized as F2 (Fujita Scale). The tornado event caused several damages to an industrial building and at several olive-tree farms.
A synoptic survey is presented along with satellite images, radar products and vertical profile of the atmosphere. Additionally, the nonhydrostatic WRF-ARW atmospheric numerical model (version 3.2.0) was utilized in analysis and forecast mode using very high horizontal resolution (1.333 km × 1.333 km) in order to represent the ambient atmospheric conditions. A comparison of statistical errors between WRF-ARW forecasts and ECMWF analysis is presented, accompanied with LGTS 12:00 UTC soundings (Thessaloniki Airport) and forecast soundings in order to verify the WRF-ARW model. Additionally, a comparison between WRF-ARW and ECMWF thermodynamic indices is also presented. The WRF-ARW high spatial resolution model appeared to simulate with significant accuracy a severe convective event with a lead period of 18 h.