Understanding the UHI effect of Minneapolis-St. Paul: a radar analysis of snowfall modification

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Nyssa M. Perryman, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS; and P. G. Dixon

The urban heat island (UHI) effect has been suggested to reduce snowfall downwind of the city center, but the limited previous research has been restricted to cities influenced by bodies of water and based on surface observations alone. For this project, the UHI environment is compared and found to be similar to the lake-enhanced snow environment, sharing three meteorological variables that aid in snowfall enhancement: instability due to vertical temperature gradient, moisture input, and convergence. In order to more fully determine the UHI impact on snowfall, radar reflectivity data for snow-only events downwind of the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota UHI are statistically analyzed to determine the intensity and spatial change of dBZ values of snow passing over the city.