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John R. Mecikalski, Christopher P. Jewett, Jason M. Apke, and Larry D. Carey

Abstract

A study was undertaken to examine growing cumulus clouds using 1-min time resolution Super Rapid Scan Operations for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) (SRSOR) imagery to diagnose in-cloud processes from cloud-top information. SRSOR data were collected using GOES-14 for events in 2012–14. Use of 1-min resolution SRSOR observations of rapidly changing scenes provides far more insights into cloud processes as compared to when present-day 5–15-min time resolution GOES data are used. For midday times on five days, cloud-top temperatures were cataloged for 71 cumulus clouds as they grew to possess anvils and often overshooting cloud tops, which occurred over 33–152-min time periods. Characteristics of the SRSOR-observed updrafts were examined individually, on a per day basis, and collectively, to reveal unique aspects of updraft behavior, strength, and acceleration as related to the ambient stability profile and cloud-top glaciation. A conclusion is that the 1-min observations capture two specific cumulus cloud growth periods, less rapid cloud growth between the level of free convection and the 0°C isotherm level, followed by more rapid growth shortly after the time of cloud-top glaciation. High correlation is found between estimated vertical motion (w) and the amount of convective available potential energy (CAPE) realized to the cloud-top level as clouds grew, which suggests that updrafts were responding to the local buoyancy quite strongly. Influences of the environmental buoyancy profile shape and evidence of entrainment on cloud growth are also found through these SRSOR data analyses.

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Michael I. Biggerstaff, Louis J. Wicker, Jerry Guynes, Conrad Ziegler, Jerry M. Straka, Erik N. Rasmussen, Arthur Doggett IV, Larry D. Carey, John L. Schroeder, and Chris Weiss

A group of scientists from three universities across two different states and from one federal research laboratory joined together to build and deploy two mobile C-band Doppler weather radars to enhance research and promote meteorological education. This 5-yr project led to the development of the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar coalition that built the first mobile C-band Doppler weather radar in the United States and also successfully deployed the first mobile C-band dual-Doppler network in a landfalling hurricane. This accomplishment marked the beginning of an era in which high temporal and spatial resolution precipitation and dual-Doppler wind data over mesoscale (~100 km) regions can be acquired from mobile ground-based platforms during extreme heavy rain and high-wind events.

In this paper, we discuss the rationale for building the mobile observing systems, highlight some of the challenges that were encountered in creating a unique multiagency coalition, provide examples of how the SMART radars have contributed to research and education, and discuss future plans for continued development and management of the radar facility, including how others may use the radars for their own research and teaching programs.

The capability of the SMART radars to measure winds in nonprecipitating environments, to capture rapidly evolving, short-lived, small-scale tornadic circulations, and to sample mesoscale regions with high spatial resolution over broad regions of heavy rainfall is demonstrated. Repeated successful intercepts provide evidence that these radars are capable of being used to study a wide range of atmospheric phenomena.

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Donald R. MacGorman, W. David Rust, Terry J. Schuur, Michael I. Biggerstaff, Jerry M. Straka, Conrad L. Ziegler, Edward R. Mansell, Eric C. Bruning, Kristin M. Kuhlman, Nicole R. Lund, Nicholas S. Biermann, Clark Payne, Larry D. Carey, Paul R. Krehbiel, William Rison, Kenneth B. Eack, and William H. Beasley

The field program of the Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment (TELEX) took place in central Oklahoma, May–June 2003 and 2004. It aimed to improve understanding of the interrelationships among microphysics, kinematics, electrification, and lightning in a broad spectrum of storms, particularly squall lines and storms whose electrical structure is inverted from the usual vertical polarity. The field program was built around two permanent facilities: the KOUN polarimetric radar and the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array. In addition, balloon-borne electric-field meters and radiosondes were launched together from a mobile laboratory to measure electric fields, winds, and standard thermodynamic parameters inside storms. In 2004, two mobile C-band Doppler radars provided high-resolution coordinated volume scans, and another mobile facility provided the environmental soundings required for modeling studies. Data were obtained from 22 storm episodes, including several small isolated thunderstorms, mesoscale convective systems, and supercell storms. Examples are presented from three storms. A heavy-precipitation supercell storm on 29 May 2004 produced greater than three flashes per second for 1.5 h. Holes in the lightning density formed and dissipated sequentially in the very strong updraft and bounded weak echo region of the mesocyclone. In a small squall line on 19 June 2004, most lightning flashes in the stratiform region were initiated in or near strong updrafts in the convective line and involved positive charge in the upper part of the radar bright band. In a small thunderstorm on 29 June 2004, lightning activity began as polarimetric signatures of graupel first appeared near lightning initiation regions.

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