Joint Poster Session JP5J.4 Explaining the variability of cloud microphysics in stratiform regions of BAMEX MCSs using high-resolution radar observations

Tuesday, 25 October 2005
Alvarado F and Atria (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Andrea M. Smith, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL; and R. M. Rauber, G. M. McFarquhar, B. F. Jewett, M. S. Timlin, and J. A. Grim

Handout (423.4 kB)

During the Bow Echo and Mesoscale Vortex Experiment (BAMEX), the NOAA-P3 aircraft executed sixteen Lagrangian spiral descents advecting with the ambient wind, collecting in-situ microphysical data to characterize the vertical variability of hydrometeor shapes, sizes and phases in the stratiform regions behind mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). In order to quantitatively use the derived cloud properties to investigate microphysical processes occurring in stratiform regions, the timing and location of the spirals must be understood in context of the meteorological evolution of each system.

Using level-II WSR-88D data and airborne dual and quad-Doppler measurements, the locations of the spiral descents were characterized with respect to the locations of the leading convective line, transition zone, trailing stratiform region and rear inflow jet. Spiral descents were also categorized according to the relative age of the MCS and strength of the rear-inflow jet. After identifying the spirals in this manner, derived microphysical parameters such as mass content, total number concentration and the derived slope parameter of analytic fits to the observed size distributions, were compared and contrasted for all spirals. From these radar and microphysical analyses, we have synthesized a conceptual microphysical model of the trailing stratiform region of MCSs. This model will be the focus of this presentation.

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