Wednesday, 13 January 2016
The A-10 Storm Penetrating Aircraft will be able to collect in-situ data in altitudes of up to 10 km. It is the successor to the SDSMT T-28 aircraft, which was only capable of collecting in-situ data up to 6-7 km. Because of this limitation, there are few observations in thunderstorms at higher altitudes. More needs to be known about the cloud physics and dynamics occurring there in order to provide mission guidance to future pilots of the A-10. We turned to numerical simulation of thunderstorms as a possible tool for finding this information. A supercell thunderstorm that occurred in western Kansas on 29 June 2000 was simulated using the CM1 numerical cloud model to assess the magnitude of potential hazards to the A-10, such as icing, turbulence, and hail. The model output has been compared with data collected by the T-28 aircraft in this storm. The aircraft made multiple penetrations of the thunderstorm in different stages of storm development. Due to the T-28 altitude restrictions, direct comparisons between the model and observations can only be made at the aforementioned 6-7 km level. Preliminary results from the comparison indicate that it duplicates T-28 liquid water content observations fairly well, matching peak values of 3 g m-3. A method for converting model-predicted turbulent kinetic energy to eddy dissipation rate has been tested, and despite its limitations it also shows promising predictive capabilities. A technique for modeling hail size is in progress. Based on the results and a review of the literature, it is believed that this model quantitatively replicates microphysical/turbulence characteristics in a High Plains supercell thunderstorm.
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