ESSL was asked by the City of Wiener Neustadt to support a major civil defense exercise for the city and surrounding districts. On July 5th, shortly before the start of the exercise, ESSL Director of Operations Alois Holzer gave a lecture on tornado basics as a prelude for the management team of around 40 officials. The tornado scenario of the exercise concerns urban areas.
Already 10 years ago, ESSL provided the tornado scenario for a similar civil defense exercise. The recent talk gave the participating entities insight into the impacts of violent tornadoes. Part of the presentation was the case of 24 June 2021 over Czechia, when 6 persons died and hundreds were injured in an F4 tornado. Even more people were killed in the historical tornado event of the year 1916, when 34 persons died in another F4 tornado that struck the northern neighborhoods of Wiener Neustadt.
ESSL and collaborators drafted a document on the “International Fujita Scale” (IF-Scale). It defines a new method to rate tornado and wind damage and was presented at the European Conference on Severe Storms in Bucharest, Romania, earlier this month.
The document is open for commenting until 31 May 2023. ESSL plans to implement the new scale in the European Severe Weather Database by 1 July 2023.
More information on the IF-Scale draft you can find here.
The workshop is scheduled for autumn, from 16 to 18 October 2023, and takes the very broad view. Target audience are forecasters (“warners”) and heads of forecasters, researchers and practicioners related to warnings, civil protection authorities, and end users of warnings (especially from critical infrastructure).
The following topics will be covered:
multidisciplinary view: risk ethics (philosophy, moral reasoning), human
behaviour (psychology) and legal frameworks (just) in the context of the
and new prospects for ingredients-based warning approaches: How should the risk
matrix be defined? Can more life be brought to forecasting impacts beyond the
– dealing with uncertainty: Why is there so little progress in communicating
the warning uncertainty, and how can this be improved?
advice and public education: from understanding to response and action. We are
seeking for good practice examples.
and tailored warnings: What are the necessary differences? And how can the gaps
between warners, emergency managements and end users be best bridged?
physical ingredients to impact warnings: Are impacts in high-end meteorological
events easier to predict and stronger tied to the physical magnitude than in
more frequent and modest events?
moment in the meteorological sphere: transition from forecasting to nowcasting
and the resulting potential sudden jump in probability of extremely rare
events. Should there be a stronger focus on the warning means in the “last
hour”? When in time and at which probability and intensity threshold should
sirens and other “strongly interrupting and potentially also frightening” means
of warning be used?
and cross-border communication: What is needed to ensure the flow of relevant
information in extremely time-critical and high workload situations?
A detailled invitation can be downloaded here (PDF).
This webinar features key 2022 results from the joint
ESSL-EUMETSAT activity introducing MTG data to operational weather forecasters
in Europe. ESSL trainers describe highlights of severe convective weather cases
that were analysed by forecasters during the testbeds in Wiener Neutstadt.
Forecasters provide testimonials on their testbed experience and the importance
of satellite products in the forecasting process. In addition, the ESSL expert
workshops put the spotlight on novel MTG products such as the 0.9um FCI channel
to detect low-level moisture, or the Lightning imager. The audience will learn
about key take-aways from these workshops, for later use in training on MTG for
Dotzek Award goes to three meteorologists with focus on satellite studies. The most prestigious award in the
global severe weather research community is presented every second year in the
memory of ESSL’s founding father, Dr. Nikolai Dotzek, for an outstanding
contribution to the science of severe storms.
As the new generation of satellites in Europe, the United States, and Japan have been launched, their increased capabilities in terms of available channels and resolution will allow for better nowcasting of severe convective storms. It is a good time to acknowledge those who have contributed significantly to our understanding of the processes that occur on top of the convective storms, how they relate to storm severity, and how they can be operationally detected. ESSL presents the 2023 Nikolai Dotzek Award to three scientists who have strongly pushed satellite meteorology forward.
The first awardee
is Prof. Pao-Kuan Wang, who has used very high-resolution cloud models to
simulate the processes at the top of convective storms. Simulations showed that
overshooting tops act as obstacles to the anvil-relative wind. Thus, most of
the storm top features that we observe from a satellite, such as cold rings,
cold-Us, above-anvil cirrus plumes, storm-top gravity waves or ship wave
patterns result from the interaction between overshooting tops and the ambient
flow. Wang has also shown that some of these features result from internal
gravity wave breaking processes, consequently contributing to lower
stratospheric moistening. Wang was, until recently, director of the Research
Center for Environmental Changes of the Academia Sinica and formerly professor
at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
The second awardee is Dr. Martin Setvák, who in the late 1980’s described various forms of increased 3.7 micron cloud top reflectivity of convective storms and discussed its possible link to storm severity and updraft strength. Later he elaborated this concept with Dr. Charles A. Doswell. Together with Dr. Vincenzo Levizanni, Setvák formulated a concept of above-anvil cirrus plumes above convective storms on satellite imagery. He also contributed to the categorization of various storm-top phenomena, such as cold rings, closely collaborating on these topics with Prof. Pao K. Wang. Setvák is the father of the so-called “sandwich imagery”, a combination of infrared and visible channels, which is now in widespread use across the world. Martin Setvák has formally retired but still works part-time at the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI).
The third awardee is Kristopher Bedka, who together with his team made significant strides toward the automation of the detection of both overshooting tops and above-anvil cirrus plumes. Using large records of these phenomena and their properties, Bedka investigated their statistical relationships with severe weather beneath them. His recent work concentrated on the automatic detection of high ice water content in deep convective storms, adversely impacting aircraft engine and air probe performance. He demonstrated the utility of 1-min super rapid scanning for analysis of satellite-observed cloud properties. His ongoing work expands towards wind profiling with an airborne doppler aerosol lidar – to only mention one of several fields of activity – and offers great promises for nowcasting and improving severe storms climatologies. Kris Bedka is affiliated with the NASA Langley Research Center.
The Nikolai Dotzek
Award trophy represents a massive hailstone. The prize money is 1000 EUR
together with an invitation to the European Conference on Severe Storms (ECSS).
The award was instigated by the European Severe Storms Laboratory (ESSL) in
2011. The handing over of the award trophy usually crowns the dinner of the
ECSS conference and will take place this year in Bucharest, Romania, on the
10th of May.
The ESSL aims to contribute to the preparedness of European society for the impacts of severe storms by advancing scientific understanding, building human capacity, and fostering cooperation within Europe in this field.
ESSL provides training to forecasters, scientists, and policymakers on topics related to convective weather. ESSL participates in research projects and organizes the European Conference on Severe Storms to improve and stimulate the exchange of knowledge on severe convection. ESSL aims to establish and maintain close relationships with national weather services and research institutes to strengthen pan-European collaborations. ESSL maintains the European Severe Weather Database, to support research based on observations of severe convective weather or any related impact.
You can download a PDF document of this content here.
More information on the Nikolai Dotzek Award can be found here.
The new EUMETSAT MTG-I (Meteosat Third Generation – Imaging) satellite, launched on 13 December, will bring more frequent data with higher spatial resolution and more channels than ever before. With the lightning imager, it will also bring a completely new capability to monitor storms from space.
ESSL collaborates with EUMETSAT as part of its User Preparation programme for the new MTG satellites with its testbeds and ESSL training activities.
Operational data from the new MTG-I1 satellite will become available in the second half of 2023 if everything goes well. The current cooperation between EUMETSAT and ESSL involves training on how to use the new data. At the EUMETSAT-ESSL Testbeds weather forecasters are being prepared so that they are able to quickly make use of the new capabilities of MTG. Besides providing training, ESSL experiments with new products, such as a visualization of atmospheric moisture very close to the ground – an important physical ingredient for convective storms.
Another focus of the multi-year cooperation between EUMETSAT and ESSL is the preparing for the new lightning imager (LI) data aboard MTG.
The scope of the conference covers all aspects of severe convective storms. Researchers, forecasters, risk and emergency managers, and others dealing with severe storms from around the world are invited to submit contributions.
Abstract submission and registration for the conference are now possible here. The deadline for abstract submission is 12 January 2023.
In addition you might also be interested in other topics from our latest ESSL Newsletter: