Synoptic and Polarimetric Radar Analysis of the 2 March 2014 Winter Storm in the South-central United States

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Jacob Petr, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE; and M. S. Van Den Broeke

Ice storms can lead to significant impacts on society, ranging from public safety, road hazards, power outages, and disrupting local economies. In order to help mitigate impacts caused by poor forecasts of timing and icing potential, further research is necessary to adequately understand high precipitation rates in elevated convective cells leading to rapid ice accumulation. With the advancement of technology, such as the dual-polarization upgrade to the national Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) network, forecasting these ice storm events can continue to improve. A case study will be conducted of the 2 March 2014 convective ice storm and snow event that took place across the south-central United States. The focus will be on an analysis of the synoptic situation leading up to and during the event, and quasi-geostrophic (QG) forcing for vertical motion will also be analyzed. Results from this study will be compared to prior ice storm synoptic patterns. Preliminary dual-polarimetric radar observations will be presented and compared to vertical temperature profiles and surface observations in order to develop guidelines for more accurate forecasting of precipitation rate in similar winter storms.