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Numerical Modelling of Weather and Climate

Lecturers: Simona Bordoni (UNITN/DICAM), Lorenzo Giovannini (UNITN/DICAM)

Timetable: 3 - 14 July 2023 

The course provides an introduction to meteorological and climate modelling, starting from the governing physical principles, that are presented in the first part. The following parts of the course focus on climate and meteorological models, introducing specific relevant topics for the different types of models, including parameterizations, initial and boundary conditions and ensemble modelling. The course offers both theoretical contents and practical exercises. The practical sessions consist of the analysis of data from climate prediction models and an exercise using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.

Introduction (6 h – Simona Bordoni, Lorenzo Giovannini)
•    Equations of the atmospheric motion in a rotating frame of reference and in spherical polar coordinates. Scaling analysis of momentum equations for synoptic scale motion. Geostrophic balance. 
•    Reynolds average of momentum equations and advection/diffusion equations.

Climate models (15 h – Simona Bordoni)
•    Introduction to climate modelling: history, types and fundamentals of climate models. Different components of climate models, parameterisations with a specific focus on cloud and convection parameterisations. Frontiers in climate modelling: high-resolution, large ensembles and machine learning approaches.
•    Intercomparison projects and IPCC reports.
•    Practical session on the Copernicus Climate Data Store and CMIP6 model output.

Meteorological models (15 h – Lorenzo Giovannini)
•    Introduction to meteorological modelling: history, types and fundamentals of meteorological models. Parameterizations of meteorological models, initial and boundary conditions, ensemble meteorological forecasts.
•    Introduction to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) meteorological model: structure of the WRF modelling system, WRF Preprocessing System, overview of the main physics and dynamic options.
•    Practical session on the WRF meteorological model.

Duration: 36 hours (4 credits)

Registration: in order to access the course, please send an email to dicamphd [at]