Leone Cavicchia - Improving the understanding of past and future East Coast Lows activity

Event type: 
14 November 2018
2.00 - 3.00 pm

Climate Change Research Centre, Seminar Room, Mathews Building 4th floor, UNSW, Sydney

Leone Cavicchia
University of Melbourne
Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW

The subtropical part of the eastern Australian seaboard is characterized by intense cyclonic activity. Cyclones in this region appear to be driven by a combination of different formation mechanisms, consistent with the view emerging in the last decades that cyclones span a continuous spectrum of dynamical structures, with the barotropically driven tropical cyclone and the baroclinically driven extra-tropical cyclone being only the extremes of such spectrum. In this presentation Leone will show results from a recent study revisiting the climatology of cyclone occurrence in the subtropical east coast of Australia as seen in a global reanalysis, systematically applying physically-based classification criteria based on the cyclones vertical structure and energetics. It is shown that a clear meridional stratification among different classes of cyclones emerges, with the fraction of cold core storms decreasing towards the tropics. Moreover, it is found that for the cyclones that develop a phase of rapid intensification (explosive deepening), both barotropic and baroclinic processes in the surrounding environment seem to play a crucial role in the storm intensification. Preliminary results from the application of the same methodology to a RCM climate projection ensemble will also be discussed.


Brief Biography: Leone is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Melbourne. His work is part of the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub of the National Environment Science Programme (NESP) and is focused on improving projections for weather extremes over Australia. Studying cyclones is for him a return to the beginning, as the topic of his PhD work has been to produce the first long-term climatology of tropical like storms in the Mediterranean Sea (medicanes). Before moving to Australia, he has also worked few years at CMCC (Bologna, Italy), focusing on the setup of a coupled regional model for the Mediterranean region, and analysing extreme precipitation events in the area.