In the last decade the most intense and extensive hailstorms have increased by 30% in the Mediterranean area and Italy is the most affected country: this is demonstrated by the satellite data collected by the international space mission 'Global Precipitation Measurements', which made it possible to create the first global high-resolution map of hail events.
The result is published in the journal Eos by researchers from the Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences of the National Research Council of Bologna (Cnr-Isac).
"The values measured indicate that in the last twenty years the Mediterranean has been warming up 20% faster than the global average, with the consequent variation of rainfall regimes, which increase in intensity and frequency", explains Sante Laviola, researcher at the Cnr - Isac and first author of the study. extreme” in the period 2010-2021 compared to the previous decade.
"In particular, the highest average number of this type of precipitation has been reached in our peninsula, which is mostly concentrated in the north during the summer, while it grows in the central-south between the end of summer and autumn".
Seasonality of large hailstorms (in blue) and super hailstorms (in red) in the Mediterranean basin (source: Cnr)
Using this data, researchers will be able to improve meteorological and climate models, also supporting risk management with the aim of mitigating the effects of hail on the territory and on human activities.
"A global hail map, which can be produced every three hours, provides information (until now non-existent) useful for studying the distribution of hail patterns in every area of the planet, and especially in the sea", Laviola underlines. " If from an operational point of view our global maps allow us to observe hailstorms even on areas of the planet discovered by ground measurement systems, from a climatic point of view they would make it possible to replicate our study on other climatic hotspots on Earth".