THE INVERSION “BRIGHT BAND”

A Feature of Three Winter Storms

PATRICK E. HUGHES Weather Bureau Airport Station, Washington National Airport, Washington. D.C.

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RICHARD A. WOOD Weather Bureau Airport Station, Washington National Airport, Washington. D.C.

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Abstract

Previous discussions of the “bright band,” a radar phenomenon associated with the freezing level, have treated it as related to a “normal” lapse rate—a progressive decrease of temperature with height, with surface temperatures above freezing. This paper deals with bright bands observed when surface temperatures were at, or below, freezing. Three cases are examined, all snowstorms of the 1960–61 season. In each case inspection of the available upper-air soundings confirmed the existence of prominent inversions aloft associated with the observed bright bands.

Abstract

Previous discussions of the “bright band,” a radar phenomenon associated with the freezing level, have treated it as related to a “normal” lapse rate—a progressive decrease of temperature with height, with surface temperatures above freezing. This paper deals with bright bands observed when surface temperatures were at, or below, freezing. Three cases are examined, all snowstorms of the 1960–61 season. In each case inspection of the available upper-air soundings confirmed the existence of prominent inversions aloft associated with the observed bright bands.

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