AbstractThe structure of a melting layer associated with a mesoconvective system is examined using a combination of in situ aircraft measurements and a unique Doppler radar operated by the U.S. Navy that has a range resolution as fine as 0.5m. Interest in this case was motivated by ground-based all-sky camera images which captured the transient development of mid-level billow cloud structures within a precipitating trailing stratiform cloud shield associated with a passing deep convective system. A sequence of high-fidelity time-height radar measurements taken of this storm system reveal that the movement of the billow cloud structure over the radar site corresponded with abrupt transitions in the observed low-level precipitation structure. Of particular note is an observed transition from stratiform to more periodic and vertically slanted rain shaft structures that both radar and aircraft measurements indicate have the same temporal periodicity determined to arise visually between successive billow cloud bands. Doppler, balloon, and aircraft measurements reveal these transient bands are associated with a shallow circulation field that resides just above the melting level in a layer of moist neutral stability and strong negative vertical wind shear. The nature of these circulations and their impact on the evolving precipitation field is described in the context of known nimbostratus cloud types.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 14, 2017
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