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Observations in Hailstorms Using the T-28 Aircraft System

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  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City 57701
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Abstract

This study relates data gathered during the penetration of hailstorms between 4.9 and 6.7 km MSL by an armored T-28 aircraft to detailed radar data of the hailstorms penetrated. These data recorded by the T-28 data system are combined with observations made by the author while piloting the T-28 through hailstorms. The radar data from the National Hail Research Experiment CPR-2 are specially prepared as Constant Altitude Plan Position Indicator (CAPPI) displays and vertical sections along the aircraft track for comparison with the data gathered by the aircraft system and pilot's observations.

The results indicate that significant updrafts are frequently found well ahead of the high radar reflectivity zones. The updrafts are found to be relatively smooth while the high radar reflectivity zones are found to be very turbulent. Significant quantities of supercooled liquid water are found in the updraft regions. Significant airframe icing is found in the strong updrafts with the most severe icing along the edges of the updrafts. The high reflectivity zones are found to contain almost exclusively ice. Hail is more frequently found in the area of strong reflectivity but small hail is found outside the 40 dBZ contour.

Abstract

This study relates data gathered during the penetration of hailstorms between 4.9 and 6.7 km MSL by an armored T-28 aircraft to detailed radar data of the hailstorms penetrated. These data recorded by the T-28 data system are combined with observations made by the author while piloting the T-28 through hailstorms. The radar data from the National Hail Research Experiment CPR-2 are specially prepared as Constant Altitude Plan Position Indicator (CAPPI) displays and vertical sections along the aircraft track for comparison with the data gathered by the aircraft system and pilot's observations.

The results indicate that significant updrafts are frequently found well ahead of the high radar reflectivity zones. The updrafts are found to be relatively smooth while the high radar reflectivity zones are found to be very turbulent. Significant quantities of supercooled liquid water are found in the updraft regions. Significant airframe icing is found in the strong updrafts with the most severe icing along the edges of the updrafts. The high reflectivity zones are found to contain almost exclusively ice. Hail is more frequently found in the area of strong reflectivity but small hail is found outside the 40 dBZ contour.

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