A Summary of Convective-Core Vertical Velocity Properties Using ARM UHF Wind Profilers in Oklahoma

Scott E. Giangrande * Atmospheric Sciences Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York

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Scott Collis Environmental Sciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois

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Jerry Straka University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

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Alain Protat Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Christopher Williams Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, and NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Steven Krueger ** University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Abstract

This study presents a summary of the properties of deep convective updraft and downdraft cores over the central plains of the United States, accomplished using a novel and now-standard Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) scanning mode for a commercial wind-profiler system. A unique profiler-based hydrometeor fall-speed correction method modeled for the convective environment was adopted. Accuracy of the velocity retrievals from this effort is expected to be within 2 m s−1, with minimal bias and base core resolution expected near 1 km. Updraft cores are found to behave with height in reasonable agreement with aircraft observations of previous continental convection, including those of the Thunderstorm Project. Intense updraft cores with magnitudes exceeding 15 m s−1 are routinely observed. Downdraft cores are less frequently observed, with weaker magnitudes than updrafts. Weak, positive correlations are found between updraft intensity (maximum) and updraft diameter length (coefficient r to 0.5 aloft). Negligible correlations are observed for downdraft core lengths and intensity.

Corresponding author address: Scott Giangrande, Atmospheric Sciences Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Bldg. 490D, Bell Ave., Upton, NY 11973. E-mail: scott.giangrande@bnl.gov

Abstract

This study presents a summary of the properties of deep convective updraft and downdraft cores over the central plains of the United States, accomplished using a novel and now-standard Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) scanning mode for a commercial wind-profiler system. A unique profiler-based hydrometeor fall-speed correction method modeled for the convective environment was adopted. Accuracy of the velocity retrievals from this effort is expected to be within 2 m s−1, with minimal bias and base core resolution expected near 1 km. Updraft cores are found to behave with height in reasonable agreement with aircraft observations of previous continental convection, including those of the Thunderstorm Project. Intense updraft cores with magnitudes exceeding 15 m s−1 are routinely observed. Downdraft cores are less frequently observed, with weaker magnitudes than updrafts. Weak, positive correlations are found between updraft intensity (maximum) and updraft diameter length (coefficient r to 0.5 aloft). Negligible correlations are observed for downdraft core lengths and intensity.

Corresponding author address: Scott Giangrande, Atmospheric Sciences Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Bldg. 490D, Bell Ave., Upton, NY 11973. E-mail: scott.giangrande@bnl.gov
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