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

Wednesday, 6 August 2003
Anvil evolution from NEXRAD data during CRYSTAL-FACE
Thomas M. Rickenbach, Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County and NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and L. Belcher, P. Kucera, L. Carey, J. Halverson, and D. Starr
Poster PDF (263.9 kB)
The main goal of last summer’s NASA Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers – Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE) was to study the evolution and radiative properties of tropical cirrus clouds, which regulate Earth’s climate in ways that are poorly understood. Measurements from NOAA’s WSR 88-D (NEXRAD) weather radar network in South Florida were used to investigate the three-dimensional evolution of the convective systems that produced extensive cirrus anvil clouds.

Gridded radar reflectivity volumes for the 23 July MCS were visualized to illustrate the growth of a thick, extensive anvil region of precipitation-sized hydrometeors emanating from a series of convective cells which formed and decayed on the sea breeze front. Vertical profiles of radar reflectivity in both the convective cell and anvil regions demonstrated a persistent non-precipitating anvil with peak areal coverage at 7 km height. Examples from this and other cases in conjunction with dropsonde data give insight into the growth and longevity of these extensive anvil clouds.

Real-time acquisition of level II South Florida NEXRAD data during CRYSTAL-FACE was achieved through a partnership with NOAA's Project CRAFT.

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