Italy and the surrounding Mediterranean countries experienced an unusual wet summer in 2014: the monthly rainfall in July 2014 was 84% above normal with respect to the 1982–2013 July climatology. The heavy rainfall damaged agriculture, and affected tourism and overall economy of Southern Europe.
A study recently published on Atmospheric Research (among the authors, Annalisa Cherchi, researcher at the CMCC Foundation – ODA Division) tried to understand the physical mechanisms responsible for such abnormal weather by using model and observed datasets.
Results highlighted that the anomalously high precipitation over Italy was associated with positive sea surface temperature and convective anomalies in the tropical Pacific through atmospheric teleconnection. A teleconnection in atmospheric science refers to climate anomalies being related to each other at large distance (typically thousands of kilometers). An anomalous cyclonic circulation extending to lower atmospheric levels settled in Southern Europe, weakening the seasonal high and causing heavy precipitation.
For more information, read the integral version of the paper:
Ratna S.B., Ratnam J.V., Behera S.K., Cherchi A., Wang W., Yamagata T.
The unusual wet summer (July) of 2014 in Southern Europe
2017, Atmospheric Research, 189: 61-68, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2017.01.017