Snowbands generated by the release of inertial, symmetric, and conditional instabilities
Such an event is reminiscent of other events that have occurred in northwesterly flow in the lee of the Rockies, as well as three other published case studies. Despite this growing body of knowledge, the threat faced from precipitation bands and clear-air turbulence associated with the release of inertial instability remains largely unaddressed observationally, numerically, or theoretically in the atmospheric sciences. As such, the predictability of these bands is unknown.
There are many remaining challenges to be answered. How often such precipitation bands occur in nature remains unknown. Although diagnosing the existence of these bands after their formation is relatively straightforward using an ingredients-based approach, the dynamics of these bands remains a well-veiled mystery, revealing a substantial challenge for idealized numerical experimentation. Despite this dour scenario for predicting and understanding precipitation bands associated with inertial instability, high-resolution NWP models offer some hope that such events could be adequately forecast in the future. Indeed, high-resolution simulations of three of the four cases indicate that such models have the ability to predict such events.