Two years ago, we wrote that winter thunderstorms in Poland are an extremely rare meteorological phenomenon. The beginning of 2022, however, showed how unpredictable the weather is. Due to the dynamic course of the baric systems, the significant pressure differences, and the increased air instability in Europe the past month – although warmer than the long-term normal – brought a whole range of dangerous hydrological and meteorological phenomena: storms, floods, strong winds, with a record gust on Śnieżka of 54 m/s (over 190 km/h!), snow blizzards, glaze, snowfall, rain and snow, rainfall, snow grain and, of course, thunderstorms. It would be too hasty and early to say that the January weather hotchpotch results from a changing climate. However, the analysis of historical meteorological data clearly shows that the climatic conditions in Poland are becoming more and more unstable, which results in an increase in the frequency and intensity of hazardous weather events.
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This paper presents the evolution of the mesoscale convection system as seen on satellite images during all stages: pre-convection, initiation, and maturity. The evolution of any atmospheric phenomenon can be monitored effectively only when the data available have adequate temporal and spatial resolution. In case of convective storms the resolution should be minutes and kilometers. Therefore, data from the METEOSAT geostationary satellite, with 5-minute and 15-minute intervals were used operationally to monitor the storm of 11 August 2017; this was a most destructive storms, concentrated in several districts of the Pomeranian, Greater Poland, and Kuyavian-Pomeranian voivodeships. Analysis demonstrated that some alarming features, like cold rings or cold U/V shapes, can be visible on the single channel satellite images, without even referring to specific convective products. However, the nowcasting of the convective phenomena requires careful analysis of several dedicated products, including stability indices and water vapor content in the troposphere. It has been shown that with comprehensive analysis of the information provided by the different satellite images and satellite derived products, it is possible to draw conclusions about the severity of the observed storms as well as the probability of the occurrence of the extreme weather at the ground.
Storm surge floods are one of the most catastrophic natural phenomena on Earth. They cause unimaginable financial and environmental damage worldwide every year, but above all, thousands of deaths. Although the Baltic Sea appears to be much less dynamic and dangerous than the North Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, historical documents and current observations confirm the devastating potential of the Baltic Sea. In 1983, a storm on the Vistula Lagoon flooded nearly 3,000 hectares of Nowakowska Island. In 2009, wind gusts in the peak of the storm surge flood reached 95 km/h. Today, we can react better and faster to storm surge risks due to flood hazard maps based on storm surge scenarios. Their development was one of the greatest challenges for the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management-National Research Institute (IMGW-PIB) in the twenty-first century.
Precise simulations of severe weather events are a challenge in the era of changing climate. By performing simulations correctly and accurately, these phenomena can be studied and better understood. In this paper, we have verified how different initial and boundary conditions affect the quality of simulations performed using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). For our analysis, we chose a derecho event that occurred in Poland on 11 August 2017, the most intense and devastating event in recent years. High-resolution simulations were conducted with initialization at 00 and 12 UTC (11 August 2017) using initial and boundary conditions derived from the four global models: Global Forecast System (GFS) from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), Integrated Forecast System (IFS) developed by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS) and ERA5.
Modern satellite observations offer unprecedented possibilities for local (regional) and global agriculture monitoring.They allow imaging the Earth’s surface with a spatial resolution of 10-20 meters and a repetition time of 1-2 days*.Today, such satellite monitoring is primarily carried out by Sentinel-2, but the information it collects is a continuation of previous satellite systems used for agriculture, such as Landsat.The products of these programs, in the form of photos and images, are already available under the sat4envi project, led by the IMGW-PIB. Data from the Sentinel-2 satellite enable the determination of soil properties and conditions for crops and the mapping of the current state of agricultural cultivation activities. All this information helps researchers and farmers to assess the usefulness of land, predict the quantity and quality of crops in a given period, monitor seasonal changes, and implement national or regional aid systems to implement sustainable development policies.