32nd Conference on Broadcast Meteorology/31st Conference on Radar Meteorology/Fifth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes

Monday, 11 August 2003: 11:15 AM
Mobile Doppler radar observations of a front during IHOP
Paul Markowski, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Poster PDF (2.9 MB)
Four mobile Doppler radars collected data along a front on 3 June 2002 during a convection initiation intercept. The dataset spans nearly 7 continuous hours, affording the opportunity for a detailed study of the relationships between the kinematic and thermodynamic characteristics of the front. Convection failed to be initiated along the front, which was observed initially as a slowly moving cold front, then as a stationary front, and finally as a warm front. The paper will discuss (1) the characteristics of the front and/or mesoscale environment that precluded convection initiation; (2) the effects of inflections in the frontal zone on vertical motion, water vapor mixing ratio, and virtual potential temperature; (3) baroclinity changes along the front as a function of time, and kinematic changes associated with those baroclinity changes; (4) the horizontal vorticity budget along the front. We also will discuss the implications of the above findings for convection initiation in general, as well as the issue of how the appearance of fronts, when viewed at such a high resolution, differs from conceptual models of fronts.

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