During May and June of 1985, an experiment to study mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) was carried out in central Kansas and Oklahoma, using many of the latest measurement technologies in the atmospheric sciences. Among these were three 50-MHz radar wind profilers. Two cases of mesoscale squall-line systems are used to describe profiler performance in the highly convective environment of the United States High Plains in early summer. The 10–11 June squall-line system was intense and well organized, and passed over the profiler sites near Liberal and McPherson, Kansas; the 26–27 June system was less coherent and was studied when it passed over the Norman, Oklahoma profiler. For the stronger event, both profilers supplied good time-height coverage of the horizontal winds during the pre- and post-squall-line periods, but could not resolve them well while the strongly convective line was overhead. In contrast, the Norman profiler supplied good horizontal-wind information throughout the weaker system's duration, although there were several data gaps unrelated to profiler performance. Mesoscale structure common to both systems, such as strong backing-wind profiles capped by the midlevel rear-inflow jet behind the squall lines, and low-level veering-wind profiles ahead of the lines, were documented both in profiler and frequent-rawinsonde time series. The profilers supplied more-complete coverage in the “stratiform” region of both squall-line systems than did rawinsondes. However, a significant problem with the 50-MHz profiler was its inability to sample the lowest 1.5 to 2.0 km above ground level (AGL).
1 NOAA/ERL/ESG, Weather Research Program, Boulder, CO 80303.
2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307.