Session 10A.4 Investigation of stability characteristics of thundersnow events utilizing the growth rate parameter

Wednesday, 3 August 2005: 8:45 AM
Ambassador Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.)
Christopher J. Melick, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; and L. Smith, B. Pettegrew, and P. Market

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Stability characteristics of thundersnow events across the central United States were examined in order to provide more insight into how the environment becomes destabilized over a relatively short period of time. For this purpose, calculations of a growth rate parameter (σ2) are performed for seven archived case studies during the 2003-04 winter season utilizing numerical weather model output from the 40-km RUC. Results from this stability tendency revealed that the doubling time for the convection was upon the order of 2.4 hours, which was consistent with the typical timescale for moist slantwise convection released from conditional symmetric instability. In addition, the development of mesoscale snowbands was correctly predicted with the associated computed values for σ2 easily surpassing the 0.2 h-2 criterion. One rather strong event will be provided in order to illustrate the usefulness of this method in an operational environment, with a term by term diagnosis of the mathematical expression also presented.

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