206 Analysis of the forcing responsible for banded precipitation within winter cyclones utilizing high resolution radar and sounding observations

Thursday, 29 September 2011
Grand Ballroom (William Penn Hotel)
Melissa K. Peterson, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; and R. M. Rauber, B. F. Jewett, G. M. McFarquhar, and K. R. Knupp

The mesoscale and thermodynamic structure of the banded precipitation in Midwestern wintertime cyclones is examined using data collected during the Profiling of Winter Storms (PLOWS) project. Data in this study were obtained from the Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR) aboard the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) C-130 aircraft and rawinsondes launched from the NCAR Mobile Integrated Sounding System (MISS). During PLOWS, the cloud radar often documented narrow convective turrets inside these storms at cloud top level. This study uses remote and in-situ PLOWS observations to investigate whether the release of conditional symmetric instability (CSI) or potential instability (PI) is responsible for the observed convection and ultimately the precipitation structures. We observed that air within the dry slot overran the moist air over the warm front in the wrap-around deformation zone of the cyclone. We will present analyses of thermodynamic profiles and high-resolution cloud radar data within the deformation zone, in and above the precipitation bands, and in the nearby dry slot to test the hypothesis that lifting the air adiabatically in this environment will result in cold air atop warm air and create instability. For the current study, data from 15 February 2010 were used because there are excellent concurrent data between multiple C-130 overpasses with the WCR and rawinsondes.
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