A Climatology of Precipitating Open-cell Convection over the Northeast Gulf of Alaska

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Todd D. Sikora, Millersville University, Millersville, PA; and E. B. Wendoloski and R. E. Marter Jr.

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This abstract addresses the frequency of precipitating open-cell convection over the northeast Gulf of Alaska during a five year period (20022006). The present research employs 154 previously-documented satellite Synthetic aperture radar-Derived Wind Speed (SDWS) images that contain open-cell convection signatures. Each SDWS image is paired with a near-in-time, National Weather Service Weather Surveillance Radar 88 Doppler Level-III 0.5 elevation angle short-range base reflectivity image from coastal Alaska for which coverage spatially overlaps open-cell convection signatures. The time difference between any two images of a single pair is typically a few minutes or less. For 65% of the image pairs, at least one SDWS open-cell convection signature in the overlap region is associated with precipitation. That percentage may be conservative given the methodology of the present research. Thus, the results of the present research support a suggestion posed in previous studies that the organization of open-cell convection can be controlled by the interaction of the environmental vertical wind shear and precipitation-driven cold pools.