Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Argentina is a global hotspot for severe hailstorms, especially within the vicinity of the Andes Mountains and the Sierras de Córdoba. This hail activity results in substantial damage and economic loss in both urban areas and farms in the region. The RELAMPAGO (Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations) field campaign, which will take place during the austral summer of 2018, aims to deepen the understanding of the lifecycle of the region’s convective storms through direct observations. To assist in locating equipment and personnel for the project, this study presents a hail climatology which addresses the diurnal, annual, and spatial patterns of the region’s hail. Trends in hail size and the type of damage are also discussed. To create this climatology, meteorological surface station data between 1 June 1987 and 31 May 2017 from 20 stations in the Mendoza, San Luis, and Córdoba provinces were supplemented with online newspaper and social media reports from 1 June 2013 to 31 May 2017. Both datasets show that hail peaked in the summer for Mendoza and San Luis, but in the spring for Córdoba, which was the province with the most hail reports. The combined effects of topography and population likely influenced the spatial distribution of hail reports. The two datasets disagree on the time of day hail most frequently occurred, however. This, in addition to the role of population density in hail reporting, highlights the potential for bias among the results.
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