ILL E An Analysis of a Frontogenetically Forced Early-Spring Snowstorm BY MICHAEL EVANS he diagnosis and forecasting of heavy, banded snowstorms has been a topic of considerable in- Tterest among operational meteorologists during the past several years. Most studies have concentrated on the development of bands of heavy snow associated with highly amplified midtropospheric troughs and rapid surface cyclogenesis. Several recent studies (i.e., Nicosia and Grumm 1999, Novak et al. 2004) have demonstrated that the flow patterns associated with those types of systems naturally favor the develop- ment of heavy, banded precipitation by promoting the collocation of midtropospheric frontogenesis and weak or negative moist symmetric stability. Despite the fact that intense snow bands are typi- cally associated with rapid cyclogenesis, operational experience plus a limited number of observational studies indicate that lighter, yet still substantial snow bands often develop with weaker systems (i.e., Sker- t et al. 2002). These bands are capable of produc- rit ing snowfall amounts that satisfy low-end warning criteria for much of the northern United States [6-10 in. (15-25 cm)]. Accurate forecasting of these systems can be very difficult, since the associated forcing is often focused at scales smaller than the synoptic scale. This article
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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