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  • Author or Editor: Edward A. Brandes x
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Guifu Zhang
,
Juanzhen Sun
, and
Edward A. Brandes

Abstract

Disdrometer observations indicate that the raindrop size distribution (DSD) can be represented by a constrained-gamma (CG) distribution model. The model is used to retrieve DSDs from polarization radar measurements of reflectivity and differential reflectivity and to characterize rain microphysics and physical processes such as evaporation, accretion, and precipitation. The CG model parameterization is simplified to a single parameter for application in single-moment numerical models. This simplified parameterization is applied in the Variational Doppler Radar Analysis System (VDRAS) using Kessler-type parameterizations for model initialization and forecasting. Results are compared to those for the Marshall–Palmer (MP) DSD model. It is found that the simplified CG model parameterization better preserves the stratiform rain and produces better forecasts than the MP model parameterization.

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Edward A. Brandes
,
Robert P. Davies-Jones
, and
Brenda C. Johnson

Abstract

The structure and steadiness of radar-observed supercell thunderstorms are examined in terms of their particular distribution of vorticity. The data confirm that the vorticity vector in supercells points in the direction of the storm-relative velocity vector and that supercell updrafts contain large positive helicity (V·ω). The alignment of vorticity and velocity vectors dictates that low pressure associates not only with vorticity but also with helicity. Accelerating pressure gradients and helicity, both thought important for suppressing small-scale features within supercells, may combine with shear-induced vertical pressure gradient forces to organize and maintain the large-scale persistent background updrafts that characterize supercells.

Rear downdrafts possess weak positive or negative helicity. Thus, the decline of storm circulation may be hastened by turbulent dissipation when the downdraft air eventually mixes into supercell updrafts.

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Kyoko Ikeda
,
Edward A. Brandes
, and
Roy M. Rasmussen

Abstract

An unusual multiple freezing-level event observed with polarimetric radar during the second phase of the Improvement of Microphysical Parameterization through Observational Verification Experiments (IMPROVE-2) field program is described. The event occurred on 28 November 2001 when a warm front moved over the Oregon Cascade Mountains. As the front approached, an elevated melting layer formed above a preexisting melting layer near ground. Continued warming of the lower atmosphere eventually dissipated the lower melting layer.

The polarimetric measurements are used to estimate the height of the freezing levels, document their evolution, and deduce hydrometeor habits. The measurements indicate that when the two freezing levels were first observed melting was incomplete in the upper melting layer and characteristics of particles that passed through the two melting layers were similar. As warming progressed, the character of particles entering the lower melting layer changed, possibly becoming ice pellets or frozen drops. Eventually, the refreezing of particles ended and only rain occurred below the elevated melting layer.

The Doppler radial winds showed a well-defined wind maximum apparently associated with a “warm conveyor belt.” The jet intensified and descended through the elevated melting layer with time. However, the increase in wind speed did not appear connected with melting or result in precipitation enhancement.

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