Relation Between the St. Louis Urban Precipitation Anomaly and Synoptic Weather Factors

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  • 1 Illinois State Water Survey, Urbana 61801
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Abstract

The summer (June–August) rainfall distribution on the METROMEX network was analyzed to determine the synoptic conditions during which the urban-industrial regions of St. Louis affect the precipitation process. The rainfall patterns were stratified by direction of movement of convective entities in storm systems, surface wind direction, and basic synoptic weather types. The results provide support for enhancement of rainfall downstorm from the urban-industrial region. Although only 23% of the 330 storms moved from the west-southwest, the storms produced 42% of the network rainfall and were strong contributors to the rainfall anomaly that maximizes 25–30 km northeast of St. Louis. Cold front conditions with the major convective entities moving from the southwest, and squall lines with any storm motion were associated with the most intense rainstorms over the raingage network, and these storms were also largely responsible for the rainfall anomaly. The rainfall pattern based on air mass storms did not indicate any significant urban enhancement of rainfall and study of squall zone storms suggested possible reduction of rainfall in the urban region.

Abstract

The summer (June–August) rainfall distribution on the METROMEX network was analyzed to determine the synoptic conditions during which the urban-industrial regions of St. Louis affect the precipitation process. The rainfall patterns were stratified by direction of movement of convective entities in storm systems, surface wind direction, and basic synoptic weather types. The results provide support for enhancement of rainfall downstorm from the urban-industrial region. Although only 23% of the 330 storms moved from the west-southwest, the storms produced 42% of the network rainfall and were strong contributors to the rainfall anomaly that maximizes 25–30 km northeast of St. Louis. Cold front conditions with the major convective entities moving from the southwest, and squall lines with any storm motion were associated with the most intense rainstorms over the raingage network, and these storms were also largely responsible for the rainfall anomaly. The rainfall pattern based on air mass storms did not indicate any significant urban enhancement of rainfall and study of squall zone storms suggested possible reduction of rainfall in the urban region.

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