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Department of Atmospheric Science

Tues., Nov. 8, 3:10 pm, EN6085

Radar-Derived Structural Characteristics and Precipitation Production of Convection Observed During the COnvective Precipitation Experiment (COPE)

Dr. David Plummer

University of Wyoming


Radar measurements are used here to investigate the microphysical properties of warm-based convection characterized by both warm rain and ice processes. Data were collected during the Convective Precipitation Experiment (COPE), which sampled convection in southwest England in July-August 2013. The primary data set used here is from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) dual-polarization X-band radar, which provided an extensive set of high-resolution observations of convection that were supplemented by airborne measurements from the University of Wyoming King Air research aircraft.

The convection observed during COPE produced radar reflectivity values of up to ~60 dBZ. Some of the deeper convective cells developed columns of positive ZDR values (commonly 1-3 dB) extending well above the environmental freezing level, with values of 1 dB extending up to 3.5 km above the freezing level in some instances. These ZDR signatures are characteristic of large liquid drops lofted in convective updrafts, and are indicative of a vigorous warm rain process early in the cell’s life cycle. An automated technique to objectively identify cells developing ZDR columns was created in order to statistically quantify these cells’ structural and microphysical characteristics. Based on this data set, statistical analyses will be presented summarizing the typical convective structure using the observed Z and ZDR signatures. Additionally, the statistical characteristics of the precipitation produced by this convection will be described, using rainfall estimates derived from the polarimetric signatures.

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