Radar and Profiler Analysis of Colliding Boundaries: A Case Study

Karan, Haldun; Knupp, Kevin
July 2009
Monthly Weather Review;Jul2009, Vol. 137 Issue 7, p2203
Academic Journal
Case Study
The kinematics of a head-on collision between two gust fronts, followed by a secondary collision between a third gust front and a bore generated by the initial collision, are described using analyses of Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) and Mobile Integrated Profiling System (MIPS) data. Each gust front involved in the initial collision exhibited a nearly north–south orientation and an east–west movement. The eastward-moving boundary was 2°C colder and moved 7 m s-1 faster than the westward-moving boundary. Two-dimensional wind retrievals reveal contrasting flows within each gravity current. One exhibited a typical gravity current flow structure, while the other assumed the form of a gravity wave/current hybrid with multiple vortices atop the outflow. One of the after-collision boundaries exhibited multiple radar finelines resembling a solitary wave shortly after the collision. About 1 h after the initial collision, a vigorous gust front intersected the eastward-moving bore several minutes before both circulations were sampled by the MIPS. The MIPS measurements indicate that the gust front displaced the bore upward into a neutral residual layer. The bore apparently propagated upward even farther to the next stable layer between 2 and 3 km AGL. MIPS measurements show that the elevated turbulent bore consisted of an initial vigorous wave, with updraft/downdraft magnitudes of 3 and -6 m s-1, respectively, followed by several (elevated) waves of decreasing amplitude.


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