Thermodynamic Properties of Mesoscale Convective Systems Observed during BAMEX

Correia Jr., James; Arritt, Raymond W.
November 2008
Monthly Weather Review;Nov2008, Vol. 136 Issue 11, p4242
Academic Journal
Dropsonde observations from the Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex Experiment (BAMEX) are used to document the spatiotemporal variability of temperature, moisture, and wind within mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). Onion-type sounding structures are found throughout the stratiform region of MCSs, but the temperature and moisture variability is large. Composite soundings were constructed and statistics of thermodynamic variability were generated within each subregion of the MCS. The calculated air vertical velocity helped identify subsaturated downdrafts. It was found that lapse rates within the cold pool varied markedly throughout the MCS. Layered wet-bulb potential temperature profiles seem to indicate that air within the lowest several kilometers comes from a variety of source regions. It was also found that lapse-rate transitions across the 0°C level were more common than isothermal, melting layers. The authors discuss the implications these findings have and how they can be used to validate future high-resolution numerical simulations of MCSs.


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