Vertical Extent of Thunderstorm Inflows Revealed by Polarimetric Radar

Valery Melnikov Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and NOAA/OAR/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma

Search for other papers by Valery Melnikov in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Dušan S. Zrnić NOAA/OAR/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma

Search for other papers by Dušan S. Zrnić in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Donald W. Burgess Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and NOAA/OAR/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma

Search for other papers by Donald W. Burgess in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Edward R. Mansell NOAA/OAR/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma

Search for other papers by Edward R. Mansell in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

It is shown that the dual-polarization radar parameters can be used to estimate the vertical extent of inflow regions in thunderstorms. Atmospheric biota trapped by inflows allows identification of inflow regions. It is shown that weak echoes from biota can be observed at signal-to-noise ratios as low as −7 dB. The vertical extent of inflow reached 5.2 km in the analyzed tornadic thunderstorm and 6.7 km in a severe thunderstorm.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0096.s1.

Corresponding author address: Valery Melnikov, CIMMS, University of Oklahoma, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Room 4949, Norman, OK 73072. E-mail: valery.melnikov@noaa.gov

Abstract

It is shown that the dual-polarization radar parameters can be used to estimate the vertical extent of inflow regions in thunderstorms. Atmospheric biota trapped by inflows allows identification of inflow regions. It is shown that weak echoes from biota can be observed at signal-to-noise ratios as low as −7 dB. The vertical extent of inflow reached 5.2 km in the analyzed tornadic thunderstorm and 6.7 km in a severe thunderstorm.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0096.s1.

Corresponding author address: Valery Melnikov, CIMMS, University of Oklahoma, 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Room 4949, Norman, OK 73072. E-mail: valery.melnikov@noaa.gov
Save
  • Achtemeier, G. L., 1991: The use of insects as tracers for “clear-air” boundary-layer studies by Doppler radar. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 8, 746765, doi:10.1175/1520-0426(1991)008<0746:TUOIAT>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Browning, K. A., 1982: General circulation of middle-latitude thunderstorms. Thunderstorm Morphology and Dynamics, E. Kessler, Ed., Vol. 2, Thunderstorms: A Social, Scientific, and Technological Documentary. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 211–247.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Browning, K. A., 1983: Morphology and classification of middle-latitude thunderstorms. Thunderstorms Morphology and Dynamics, Ed. E. Kessler, Vol. 2, Thunderstorms: A Social, Scientific, and Technological Documentary. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 133–152.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burgess, D. W., and Lemon L. R. , 1990: Severe thunderstorm detection by radar. Radar in Meteorology, D. Atlas, Ed., Amer. Meteor. Soc., 619–647.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Drake, V. A., and Reynolds D. , 2012: Radar Entomology: Observing Insect Flight and Migration. CABI, 489 pp.

  • Melnikov, V., and Schlatter P. T. , 2011: Enhancing sensitivity on the polarimetric WSR-88D. 27th Conf. on Interactive Information and Processing Systems (IIPS), Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 14.3. [Available online at http://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper178856.html.]

  • Melnikov, V., Leskinen M. , and Koistinen J. , 2014: Doppler velocities at orthogonal polarizations in radar echoes from insects and birds. IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 11, 592596, doi:10.1109/LGRS.2013.2272011.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Metcalf, J. I., 1986: Interpretation of the autocovariances and cross-covariance from a polarization diversity radar. J. Atmos. Sci., 43, 24792498, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1986)043<2479:IOTAAC>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murphey, H. V., Wakimoto R. M. , Flamant C. , and Kingsmill D. E. , 2006: Dryline on 19 June 2002 during IHOP. Part I: Airborne Doppler and LEANDRE II analyses of the thin line structure and convection initiation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 406430, doi:10.1175/MWR3063.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schiesser, H. H., and Waldvogel A. , 1999: Hailstorms. Storms, R. Pielke Jr. and R. Pielke Sr., Eds., Vol. 2, Routledge, 133–145.

  • Snyder, J. C., and Bluestein H. B. , 2014: Some considerations for the use of high-resolution mobile radar data in tornado intensity determination. Wea. Forecasting, 29, 799827, doi:10.1175/WAF-D-14-00026.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wakimoto, R. M., Murphey H. V. , Fovell R. G. , and Lee W.-C. , 2004: Mantle echoes associated with deep convection: Observations and numerical simulations. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 17011720, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2004)132<1701:MEAWDC>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilson, D. R., Illingworth A. J. , and Blackman T. M. , 1997: Differential Doppler velocity: A radar parameter for characterizing hydrometeor size distributions. J. Appl. Meteor., 36, 649663, doi:10.1175/1520-0450-36.6.649.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilson, J. W., Weckwerth T. M. , Vivekanandan J. , Wakimoto R. M. , and Russell R. W. , 1994: Boundary layer clear-air radar echoes: Origin of echoes and accuracy of deriving winds. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 11, 11841206, doi:10.1175/1520-0426(1994)011<1184:BLCARE>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zrnić, D. S., and Ryzhkov A. V. , 1999: Polarimetry for weather surveillance radars. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 80, 389406, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1999)080<0389:PFWSR>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 241 51 5
PDF Downloads 163 21 0