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Doppler Radar Wind and Reflectivity Signatures with Overrunning and Freezing-Rain Episodes: Preliminary Results

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Abstract

Freezing rain is commonly caused by overrunning. The typical atmospheric structure and precipitation patterns associated with overrunning and freezing rain suggest a general association between 1) a bright band and 2) a wind-shear layer between the colder air mass near the surface and an overrunning warmer air mass above the frontal boundary. These features were easily detected by a Doppler radar, and their associated thermodynamic structure was documented by an instrumented aircraft in two freezing-rain events near Kansas City, Missouri, in February 1990. The two cases suggest that perhaps freezing rain caused by overrunning has recognizable and easily parameterized Doppler radar signatures that could be incorporated into a freezing-rain detection algorithm. A preliminary algorithm is discussed.

Abstract

Freezing rain is commonly caused by overrunning. The typical atmospheric structure and precipitation patterns associated with overrunning and freezing rain suggest a general association between 1) a bright band and 2) a wind-shear layer between the colder air mass near the surface and an overrunning warmer air mass above the frontal boundary. These features were easily detected by a Doppler radar, and their associated thermodynamic structure was documented by an instrumented aircraft in two freezing-rain events near Kansas City, Missouri, in February 1990. The two cases suggest that perhaps freezing rain caused by overrunning has recognizable and easily parameterized Doppler radar signatures that could be incorporated into a freezing-rain detection algorithm. A preliminary algorithm is discussed.

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