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Freezing Precipitation in Winter Storms

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  • 1 Atmospheric Environment Service, Downsview, Ontario
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Abstract

The mesoscale storm structure and the evolution of precipitation type are examined during freezing precipitation episodes over southern Ontario. Precipitation bands linked to both warm and cold fronts were mainly responsible for the precipitation during these episodes. One feature detected by radar and related to freezing rain and/or ice pellets in most cases was the initial radar overhang. Observations of mixed precipitation types, including snow and ice pellets with freezing rain, are partially a consequence of size-dependent differences in melting and refreezing within an upper level invention and a lower level subfreezing region, respectively. Inadequate time for refreezing in the lower subfreezing region may, however, lead to particles at the ground being composed of a mixture of water and ice. Prediction techniques for this type of severe weather need to account for its mesoscale nature and for the actual types of precipitation involved.

Abstract

The mesoscale storm structure and the evolution of precipitation type are examined during freezing precipitation episodes over southern Ontario. Precipitation bands linked to both warm and cold fronts were mainly responsible for the precipitation during these episodes. One feature detected by radar and related to freezing rain and/or ice pellets in most cases was the initial radar overhang. Observations of mixed precipitation types, including snow and ice pellets with freezing rain, are partially a consequence of size-dependent differences in melting and refreezing within an upper level invention and a lower level subfreezing region, respectively. Inadequate time for refreezing in the lower subfreezing region may, however, lead to particles at the ground being composed of a mixture of water and ice. Prediction techniques for this type of severe weather need to account for its mesoscale nature and for the actual types of precipitation involved.

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