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  • View in gallery

    (a) Surface wind and squall line, and (b) cloud outline and circulation in a vertical plane in a West African “disturbance line.” From Hamilton and Archbold (1945); © Royal Meteorological Society.

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    Time cross section through squall line and cold front, Wilmington, OH, 0730–1135 eastern standard time (EST) 29 May 1947. Heavy lines show boundaries of squall-front and polar-front layers; heavy dotted lines show boundaries of subsidence inversion. Light solid lines show isotherms (0°C); light dashed lines show isolines of mixing ratio (g kg−1). Below the cross section is the time of radiosonde observation before or after squall-line passage; distance scale is in miles. From Newton (1950).

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    Schematic section through a squall line. Adapted from Fujita (1955). © 1955 Tetsuya Fujita. Published by Taylor and Francis Group LLC. CC BY 4.0.

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    Schematic structure of surface precipitation features seen in early meteorological radar data. Adapted from Ligda (1956). Reprinted with permission of OSTIV.

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    Examples of radar data from the rain areas of midlatitude MCSs. Low elevation reflectivity patterns from the National Severe Storms Laboratory radar located at Norman (NOR), OK, are indicated by shading levels corresponding to 20–24 dBZ (light gray), 25–34 dBZ (dark gray), 35–44 dBZ (black), 45–54 dBZ (white), 55–64 dBZ (light gray), and >65 dBZ (dark gray). Range rings are at 20, 200, and 240 km. Registration marks on outermost ring are at 90-azimuth intervals (north toward top of figure). From Houze et al. (1990).

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    Infrared image showing temperature ranges corresponding to the various gray shades. From Maddox (1980).

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    Schematic cross section through a squall-line system observed over the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. Streamlines show flow relative to squall line. Thin dashed streamlines show convective updraft circulation. Thin solid streamlines show convective-scale downdraft circulation associated with mature squall-line element, and wide arrows show mesoscale downdraft below the base of the anvil cloud. Wide, dashed arrows show mesoscale ascent in the anvil. Dark shading shows strong radar echo in the melting band and in the heavy precipitation zone of the mature squall-line element. Light shading shows weaker radar echoes. Scalloped line indicates visible cloud boundaries. Adapted from Houze (1977) by Houze and Betts (1981).

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    Total rain integrated over the convective (circled points) and stratiform regions of a squall-line MCS located over the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. The data were obtained by three shipborne radars. The three types of symbols indicate different methods used for combining the information from the three radars. From Houze (1977).

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    Stratiform rain fraction obtained from TRMM precipitation radar data. From Schumacher and Houze (2003).

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    Conceptual model of a tropical oceanic squall line with trailing-stratiform precipitation. All flow is relative to the squall line, which was moving from right to left. Numbers in ellipses are typical values of equivalent potential temperature (K). Adapted from Zipser (1977).

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    Airflow pattern inferred by multiple-Doppler radar synthesis in the convective region of a tropical squall-line system observed by dual-Doppler radar in Ivory Coast, West Africa, on 23 Jun 1981. System is moving from right to left. Vertical arrow indicates scale of airflow vectors. Horizontal arrow C shows velocity of individual convective cells. Airflow vectors are computed relative to the cells. Contours show radar reflectivity (dBZ). From Roux (1988).

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    Conceptual model of the kinematic, microphysical, and radar echo structure of a convective line with trailing-stratiform precipitation viewed in a vertical cross section oriented perpendicular to the convective line (and generally parallel to its motion). Medium and dark shading indicate intermediate and strong radar reflectivities. Adapted from Houze et al. (1989).

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    (a) System-relative winds at the 4-km level derived from airborne Doppler radar data within a bow echo on 10 Jun 2003. Aircraft tracks are superimposed. Reflectivity in dBZ is in color. (b) Vertical cross section along the white line in (a) of Doppler-derived storm-relative flow in the plane of the cross section. Negative velocities (yellow, green, and blue colors) recede from the convective line while positive velocities (brown, red, and magenta colors) approach the line. The vector scale [shown in the upper right of (b)] is vertically stretched to match the aspect ratio of the plot. The panels are adapted from Davis et al. (2004) and Jorgensen et al. (2004), respectively, by Houze (2014).

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    Schematic of airflow in the stratiform regions of an MCS over the western tropical Pacific as observed by airborne Doppler radar in TOGA COARE. The numbers indicate the observed ranges of values of the horizontal relative wind velocity and the horizontal scale of the midlevel inflow. Based on figures and tables of Kingsmill and Houze (1999); © Royal Meteorological Society.

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    (b) Idealization of a horizontal map of radar reflectivity (a) divided into convective and stratiform regions. Light gray represents the lowest reflectivity. Arrows in (a) show possible midlevel inflow directions. Arrows in (b) show possible low-level inflow directions. Adapted from Houze (1997).