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  • Author or Editor: P. A. Jones x
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P. A. Jones

Abstract

Observations of cloud cover (in oktas or tenths) by ground-based observers have been studied to investigate the distribution of cloud-cover amounts and the correlation of cloud cover in time and space. The correlation between observations at the same station, at different times, was found to vary as an exponential of the time separation. Similarly, the correlation between observations at different stations at the same time was found to vary as an exponential of the distance between the stations. Characteristic scales of cloud variation in space and time were derived from these exponentials and the shape of the distribution (in oktas or tenths) of cloud cover was described by a shape parameter. It was found that the data show only weak correlations between these three derived parameters, although it may be expected from physical arguments that the parameters are related.

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Steven V. Vasiloff
,
Edward A. Brandes
,
Robert P. Davies-Jones
, and
Peter S. Ray

Abstract

Nearly 2½ hours of dual-Doppler radar data with high temporal and spatial resolution are used to examine the evolution and morphology of a thunderstorm that evolved from a complex of small cells into a supercell storm. Individual storm cells and updrafts moved east-northeastward, nearly with the mean wind, while the storm complex, which encompassed the individual cells, propagated toward the south–southeast. Cells were first detected at middle levels (5–10 km) on the storm's right flank and dissipated on the left flank. Generally, the storm contained three cells—a forming cell, a mature cell, and a dissipating cell; life stages were apparently dictated by the source of updraft air. During the growth stage, cell inflow had a southerly component. As the cell moved through the storm complex, it started ingesting stable air from the north and soon dissipated.

A storm-environment feedback mechanism of updraft–downdraft interactions, in conjunction with increasing environmental vertical wind shear and buoyancy, is deemed responsible for an increase in the size and intensity of successive cells and updrafts. With time, a large region of background updraft, containing the updrafts of individual cells, formed on the storm's right flank. Unlike the individual cells, which moved nearly parallel to the mean wind and low-level shear vector, the region of background updraft moved to the right of the mean wind and low-level shear vector. It is believed that the formation and rightward motion of the background updraft region led to strong rotation on the storm's right flank. The larger cell and updraft size, with the same center-to-center spacing as at earlier times, made individual cell identification difficult, resulting in a nearly steady-state reflectivity structure.

The data support a growing consensus that a continuum of storm types, rather than a dichotomy, exists.

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