Session 7.1 Dropsonde derived structure of Mesoscale Convective Systems observed during BAMEX

Tuesday, 7 November 2006: 4:30 PM
St. Louis AB (Adam's Mark Hotel)
Jimmy Correia, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA; and R. Arritt

Presentation PDF (955.1 kB)

Composite vertical profiles (temperature, moisture, horizontal and vertical velocity) of dropsonde data are presented in sub-regions of mesoscale convective systems (MCS) during BAMEX. The composite vertical profiles capture features within MCSs such as unsaturated downdrafts, saturated anvil layers, and rear inflow jets. Composite profiles within the transition region have not been reported on previously and reveal a mix of saturated and unsaturated downdrafts with unsaturated downdrafts being more prevalent. Vertical velocity profiles add insight and context into the thermodynamic structure of individual profiles. Examples will be presented which illustrate the structure and variability of MCS sub-regions.

Thermodynamic variability appears to be directly linked to downdraft structure in the wake of the leading convective line. However, the leading line thermodynamic variability, although undersampled, suggests that discrete propagation of convective elements is responsible for creating the structure.

Furthermore the vertical velocity technique is shown to be robust even in heavy precipitation yielding a distinct advantage oover conventional radiosondes. Comparison to spiral descent vertical velocity from the P3's yields confidence that the dropsonde measurements are valid.

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