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Identifying transverse banding and gravity waves by satellite in severe convective cells

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014
Capitol Ballroom AB (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Anthony Wimmers, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and C. Scheele and W. F. Feltz

The gravity wave patterns that emerge as convective outflow meets a transverse background flow are known as “transverse bands,” which are a known aviation hazard. However, even today, it is difficult to use the identification of gravity waves in satellite imagery effectively in real-time aviation hazard awareness. The reasons for this include the often short-lived nature of the event, the lack of objective and quantitative identification, and the need for additional information to distinguish benign from hazardous events. It is important to improve the real-time awareness of gravity waves and transverse banding because of their connection to in-flight turbulence, which can lead to injuries among passengers and personnel, as well as expensive damages to aircraft. In this presentation we will show results of recent research to identify hazardous transverse banding, define as a transient (3-18 hour) appearance of gravity waves roughly perpendicular (transverse) to the jet stream in the upper troposphere. We will also show results from our investigation into the viability of using an ancillary numerical model to assign an accurate height to these events.