Doppler Radar Observations of a Hailstorm

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  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arisona, Tucson 85721
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Abstract

A severe hailstorm, occuring on 10 August 1966, passed over a zenith pointing, X-band, pulsed-Doppler radar located on a mountain in southeastern Arizona. An analysis was made of measurements of radar reflectivity, mean Doppler velocity, variance of the Doppler spectrum, and calculated updraft velocity. The vertical air motions and characteristics of the hydrometeors within the storm were highly variable over distances of a few hundred meters to a few kilometers. The storm consisted of a series of updraft cores containing a number of discrete volumes, 1–2 km in diameter, of rapidly rising air with smaller accompanying eddies. The updraft cores were separated by regions of weak updrafts or downdrafts. For the most part, the highest reflectivities were outside the updraft cores. It is visualized that the hailstones within the fast-rising, distinct volumes. This process could account for the layers of clear and opaque ice within large stones by allowing them to pass through several rising volumes. It might also account for brief bursts of hail and short hailstreaks observed at the ground.

Abstract

A severe hailstorm, occuring on 10 August 1966, passed over a zenith pointing, X-band, pulsed-Doppler radar located on a mountain in southeastern Arizona. An analysis was made of measurements of radar reflectivity, mean Doppler velocity, variance of the Doppler spectrum, and calculated updraft velocity. The vertical air motions and characteristics of the hydrometeors within the storm were highly variable over distances of a few hundred meters to a few kilometers. The storm consisted of a series of updraft cores containing a number of discrete volumes, 1–2 km in diameter, of rapidly rising air with smaller accompanying eddies. The updraft cores were separated by regions of weak updrafts or downdrafts. For the most part, the highest reflectivities were outside the updraft cores. It is visualized that the hailstones within the fast-rising, distinct volumes. This process could account for the layers of clear and opaque ice within large stones by allowing them to pass through several rising volumes. It might also account for brief bursts of hail and short hailstreaks observed at the ground.

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