311 Relationships Between Storm Microphysics, Dynamics, and Charge Structure

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Brody R. Fuchs, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and S. A. Rutledge, B. Dolan, and P. C. Kennedy

Previous research has shown that storms in the High Plains region of the United States are distinct from other regions of the United States. Specifically, storms in northeastern Colorado often possess anomalous mid-level positive charge, whereas storms in other regions of the United States possess a more common mid-level negative charge. While there has been considerable research on the topic of anomalously electrified storms, the processes that produce them remain elusive. This study uses polarimetric and dual-Doppler radar observations to investigate kinematic and microphysical differences between anomalously electrified storms and normal polarity storms. The majority of the case studies come from the Deep Clouds and Convective Chemistry (DC3) field campaign, which took place during the summer of 2012 with some extra cases from smaller field campaigns. Identifying systematic differences in storm structures and processes elucidates some of the possible causes of the mid-level positive charge in northeastern Colorado storms. Preliminary results indicate that anomalously electrified storms in Colorado are typically more intense with stronger updrafts and taller ZDR columns than normal polarity storms in Alabama. These results suggest that more supercooled liquid water is present in the mixed phase region of anomalous storms, which may support the positive charging of graupel and hail in the mid levels.
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