TITLE

Evolution of Mesoscale Precipitation Band Environments within the Comma Head of Northeast U.S. Cyclones

AUTHOR(S)
Novak, David R.; Colle, Brian A.; Aiyyer, Anantha R.
PUB. DATE
June 2010
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Jun2010, Vol. 138 Issue 6, p2354
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This paper explores the mesoscale forcing and stability evolution of intense precipitation bands in the comma head sector of extratropical cyclones using the 32-km North American Regional Reanalysis, hourly 20-km Rapid Update Cycle analyses, and 2-km composite radar reflectivity data. A statistical and composite analysis of 36 banded events occurring during the 2002–08 cool seasons reveals a common cyclone evolution and associated band life cycle. A majority (61%) of banded events develop along the northern portion of a hook-shaped upper-level potential vorticity (PV) anomaly. During the 6 h leading up to band formation, lower-tropospheric frontogenesis nearly doubles and the conditional stability above the frontal zone is reduced. The frontogenesis increase is primarily due to changes in the kinematic flow associated with the development of a mesoscale geopotential height trough. This trough extends poleward of the 700-hPa low, and is the vertical extension of the surface warm front (and surface warm occlusion when present). The conditional stability near 500 hPa is reduced by differential horizontal potential temperature advection. During band formation, layers of conditional instability above the frontal zone are present nearly 3 times as often as layers of conditional symmetric instability. The frontogenetical forcing peaks during band maturity and is offset by an increase in conditional stability. Band dissipation occurs as the conditional stability continues to increase, and the frontogenesis weakens in response to changes in the kinematic flow. A set of 22 null events, in which band formation was absent in the comma head, were also examined. Although exhibiting similar synoptic patterns as the banded events, the null events were characterized by weaker frontogenesis. However, statistically significant differences between the midlevel frontogenesis maximum of the banded and null events only appear ~2 h prior to band formation, illustrating the challenge of predicting band formation.
ACCESSION #
52216395

 

Related Articles

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics