AbstractThis study documents the cycle of lid formation and dissipation over the central U.S. during the spring season(defined as April, May, and June). The primary area of interest is Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas; however, thestudy encompasses the surrounding states and the source regions for the elevated mixed layer, such as thewestern U.S. and northern Mexico. The database includes conventional surface and rawinsonde observations,as well as derived parameters that define the lid structure. We examine the temporal and spatial variability oflid occurrence and the associated surface/500-mb synoptic patterns to determine the periodicity of lid occurrence,seasonal tendencies, and relationships between different slages of the lid cycle and specific synoptic flow types. Our results indicate that the lid cycle has a mean period of about one week. Synoptic typing shows that thereare basically two types of lid cycles: one that begins with a surface high pressure incursion into the southernPlains, and one that begins with a weak southerly surface flow. The first type of lid cycle represents about 60%of the total occurrences and appears throughout the entire season. It is of longer duration than the second andis associated with the progression of strong baroclinie waves in the we~teriies over the study area. The secondtype appears around mid-May, and subsequently becomes as frequent as the first type. It is typically associatedwith weak low4evel flow and subtropical circulations that exis~ over the region in late spring and summer afterthe polar jet has relreated northward. We define a four-phase composite of the chronology of the lid cycle..Analyses of composited synoptic-flow types to represent the various stages in each type of lid cycle are presented,and we examine several of these composites to identify geographically favored zones for initiation of deep convection.
Weather and Forecasting – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 15, 1991
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