An Estimation of the Condensation Rates in Three Severe Storm Systems from Satellite Observations of the Convective Mass Flux

View More View Less
  • 1 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201
© Get Permissions
Restricted access

Abstract

A technique was developed for estimating the condensation rates of convective storms using satellite measurements of cirrus anvil expansion rates and radiosonde measurements of environmental water vapor. Three cases of severe conviction in Oklahoma were studied and a diagnostic model was developed for integrating radiosonde data with satellite data.

Two methods were used to measure the anvil expansion rates–the expansion of isotherm contours on infrared image, and the divergent motions of small brightness anomalies tracked on the visible images. The differences between the two methods were large as the storms developed, but these differences became small in the latter stage of all three storms.

A comparison between the three storms indicated that the available moisture in the lowest levels greatly affected the rain rates of the storms. This was evident from both the measured rain rates of the storms and the condensation rates estimated by the model. The possibility of using this diagnostic model for estimating the intensities of convective storms also is discussed.

Abstract

A technique was developed for estimating the condensation rates of convective storms using satellite measurements of cirrus anvil expansion rates and radiosonde measurements of environmental water vapor. Three cases of severe conviction in Oklahoma were studied and a diagnostic model was developed for integrating radiosonde data with satellite data.

Two methods were used to measure the anvil expansion rates–the expansion of isotherm contours on infrared image, and the divergent motions of small brightness anomalies tracked on the visible images. The differences between the two methods were large as the storms developed, but these differences became small in the latter stage of all three storms.

A comparison between the three storms indicated that the available moisture in the lowest levels greatly affected the rain rates of the storms. This was evident from both the measured rain rates of the storms and the condensation rates estimated by the model. The possibility of using this diagnostic model for estimating the intensities of convective storms also is discussed.

Save