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Hugh Morrison
,
Sarah A. Tessendorf
,
Kyoko Ikeda
, and
Gregory Thompson

Abstract

This paper describes idealized simulations of a squall line observed on 20 June 2007, in central Oklahoma. Results are compared with measurements from dual-polarization radar and surface disdrometer. The baseline model configuration qualitatively reproduces key storm features, but underpredicts precipitation rates and generally overpredicts median volume raindrop diameter. The sensitivity of model simulations to parameterization of raindrop breakup is tested under different low-level (0–2.5 km) environmental vertical wind shears. Storm characteristics exhibit considerable sensitivity to the parameterization of breakup, especially for moderate (0.0048 s−1) shear. Simulations with more efficient breakup tend to have higher domain-mean precipitation rates under both moderate and higher (0.0064 s−1) shear, despite the smaller mean drop size and hence lower mass-weighted fall speed and higher evaporation rate for a given rainwater content. In these runs, higher evaporation leads to stronger cold pools, faster propagation, larger storm size, greater updraft mass flux (but weaker convective updrafts at mid- and upper levels), and greater total condensation that compensates for the increased evaporation to give more surface precipitation. The impact of drop breakup on mass-weighted fall speed is also important and leads to a nonmonotonic response of storm characteristics (surface precipitation, cold pool strength, etc.) to changes in breakup efficiency under moderate wind shear. In contrast, the response is generally monotonic at higher wind shear. Interactions between drop breakup, convective dynamics, cold pool intensity, and low-level environmental wind shear are also described in the context of “Rotunno–Klemp–Weisman (RKW) theory,” which addresses how density currents evolve in sheared environments.

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Sarah A. Tessendorf
,
Kyle C. Wiens
, and
Steven A. Rutledge

Abstract

This study addresses the kinematic, microphysical, and electrical evolution of an isolated convective storm observed on 3 June 2000 during the Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study field campaign. Doppler-derived vertical velocities, radar reflectivity, hydrometeor classifications from polarimetric radar, and Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) charge structures are examined over a nearly 3-h period. This storm, characterized as a low-precipitation supercell, produced modest amounts of hail, determined by fuzzy-logic hydrometeor classification as mostly small (<2 cm) hail, with one surface report of large (≥2 cm) hail. Doppler-derived updraft speeds peaked between 20 and 25 m s−1, and reflectivity was never greater than 60 dBZ. The most striking feature of this storm was its total lack of cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning. Though this storm was electrically active, with maximum flash rates near 30 per minute, no CG flashes of either polarity were detected. The charge structure inferred from the LMA observations was consistent with an inverted dipole, defined as having a midlevel positive charge region below upper-level negative charge. Inverted charge structures have typically been considered conducive to producing positive CG lightning; however, the 3 June storm appeared to lack the lower negative charge layer below the inverted dipole that is thought to provide the downward electrical bias necessary for positive CG lightning.

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Sarah A. Tessendorf
,
Steven A. Rutledge
, and
Kyle C. Wiens

Abstract

This study discusses radar and lightning observations of two multicellular storms observed during the Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study. The Lightning Mapping Array data indicated that the charge structure of the 19 June 2000 storm was consistent with a normal polarity tripole, while the 22 June 2000 storm exhibited an overall inverted tripolar charge structure. The 19 June storm consisted of weaker convection and produced little to no hail and moderate total flash rates peaking between 80 and 120 min−1. The cells in the 22 June 2000 storm were much more vigorous, exhibited strong, broad updrafts, and produced large quantities of hail, as well as extraordinary total flash rates as high as 500 min−1. The National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) indicated that the 19 June storm produced mostly negative cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning, while the 22 June storm produced predominantly positive CG lightning, peaking at 10 min−1 just after two cells merged. However, the Los Alamos Sferic Array indicated that many of the positive CG strokes reported by the NLDN in the 22 June storm were intracloud discharges known as narrow bipolar events. Negative CG lightning was also observed in the 22 June storm, but typically came to ground beneath an inverted dipole in the storm anvil.

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Anders A. Jensen
,
Gregory Thompson
,
Kyoko Ikeda
, and
Sarah A. Tessendorf

Abstract

Methods to improve the representation of hail in the Thompson–Eidhammer microphysics scheme are explored. A new two-moment and predicted density graupel category is implemented into the Thompson–Eidhammer scheme. Additionally, the one-moment graupel category’s intercept parameter is modified, based on hail observations, to shift the properties of the graupel category to become more hail-like since the category is designed to represent both graupel and hail. Finally, methods to diagnose maximum expected hail size at the surface and aloft are implemented. The original Thompson–Eidhammer version, the newly implemented two-moment and predicted density graupel version, and the modified (to be more hail-like) one-moment version are evaluated using a case that occurred during the Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field campaign, during which hail-producing storms merged into a strong mesoscale convective system. The three versions of the scheme are evaluated for their ability to predict hail sizes compared to observed hail sizes from storm reports and estimated from radar, their ability to predict radar reflectivity signatures at various altitudes, and their ability to predict cold-pool features like temperature and wind speed. One key benefit of using the two-moment and predicted density graupel category is that the simulated reflectivity values in the upper levels of discrete storms are clearly improved. This improvement coincides with a significant reduction in the areal extent of graupel aloft, also seen when using the updated one-moment scheme. The two-moment and predicted density graupel scheme is also better able to predict a wide variety of hail sizes at the surface, including large (>2-in. diameter) hail that was observed during this case.

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Deepak Gopalakrishnan
,
Sourav Taraphdar
,
Olivier M. Pauluis
,
Lulin Xue
,
R. S. Ajayamohan
,
Noor Al Shamsi
,
Sisi Chen
,
Jared A. Lee
,
Wojciech W. Grabowski
,
Changhai Liu
,
Sarah A. Tessendorf
, and
Roy M. Rasmussen

Abstract

This study investigates the structure and evolution of a summertime convective event that occurred on 14 July 2015 over the Arabian region. We use the WRF Model with 1-km horizontal grid spacing and test three PBL parameterizations: the Mellor–Yamada–Nakanishi–Niino (MYNN) scheme; the Asymmetrical Convective Model, version 2, (ACM2) scheme; and the quasi-normal scale-elimination (QNSE) scheme. Convection initiates near the Al Hajar Mountains of northern Oman at around 1100 local time (LT; 0700 UTC) and propagates northwestward. A nonorographic convective band along the west coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) develops after 1500 LT as a result of the convergence of cold pools with the sea breeze from the Arabian Gulf. The model simulation employing the QNSE scheme simulates the convection initiation and propagation well. Although the MYNN and ACM2 simulations show convective initiation near the Al Hajar Mountains, they fail to simulate the development of the convective band along the UAE west coast. The MYNN run simulates colder near-surface temperatures and a weaker sea breeze, whereas the ACM2 run simulates a stronger sea breeze but a drier lower troposphere. Sensitivity simulations using horizontal grid spacings of 9 and 3 km show that lower-resolution runs develop broader convective structures and weaker cold pools and horizontal wind divergence, affecting the development of convection along the west coast of the UAE. The 1-km run using the QNSE PBL scheme realistically captures the sequence of events that leads to the moist convection over the UAE and adjacent mountains.

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