Numerical Modeling of Hailstorms and Hailstone Growth. Part III: Simulation of an Alberta Hailstorm—Natural and Seeded Cases

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  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD 57701
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Abstract

This paper reports on simulations of a multicellular hailstorm case observed during the 1983 Alberta Hail Project. The field operations on that day concentrated on two successive feeder cells which were subjected to controlled seeding experiments. The fist of these cells received the placebo treatment and the second was seeded with dry ice. The principal tool of this study is a modified version of the two-dimensional, time dependent hail category model described in Part I of this series of papers. It is with this model that hail growth processes are investigated, including the simulated effects of cloud seeding techniques as practiced in Alberta.

The model simulation of the natural case produces a very good replication of the observed storm, particularly the placebo feeder cell. This is evidenced, in particular, by the high degree of fidelity of the observed and modeled radar reflectivity in terms of magnitudes, structure, and evolution. The character of the hailfall at the surface and the scale of the storm are captured nicely by the model, although cloud-top heights are generally too high, particularly for the mature storm system.

Seeding experiments similar to those conducted in the field have also been simulated. These involve seeding the feeder cell early in its active development phase with dry ice (CO2) or silver iodide (AgI) introduced near cloud top. The model simulations of these seeded cases capture some of the observed seeding signatures detected by radar and aircraft. In these model experiments, CO2 seeding produced a stronger response than AgI seeding relative to inhibiting hail formation. For both seeded cases, production of precipitating ice was initially enhanced by the seeding, but retarded slightly in the later stages, the net result being modest increases in surface rainfall, with hail reduced slightly. In general, the model simulations support several subhypotheses of the operational strategy of the Alberta Research Council regarding the earlier formation of ice, snow, and graupel due to seeding.

Abstract

This paper reports on simulations of a multicellular hailstorm case observed during the 1983 Alberta Hail Project. The field operations on that day concentrated on two successive feeder cells which were subjected to controlled seeding experiments. The fist of these cells received the placebo treatment and the second was seeded with dry ice. The principal tool of this study is a modified version of the two-dimensional, time dependent hail category model described in Part I of this series of papers. It is with this model that hail growth processes are investigated, including the simulated effects of cloud seeding techniques as practiced in Alberta.

The model simulation of the natural case produces a very good replication of the observed storm, particularly the placebo feeder cell. This is evidenced, in particular, by the high degree of fidelity of the observed and modeled radar reflectivity in terms of magnitudes, structure, and evolution. The character of the hailfall at the surface and the scale of the storm are captured nicely by the model, although cloud-top heights are generally too high, particularly for the mature storm system.

Seeding experiments similar to those conducted in the field have also been simulated. These involve seeding the feeder cell early in its active development phase with dry ice (CO2) or silver iodide (AgI) introduced near cloud top. The model simulations of these seeded cases capture some of the observed seeding signatures detected by radar and aircraft. In these model experiments, CO2 seeding produced a stronger response than AgI seeding relative to inhibiting hail formation. For both seeded cases, production of precipitating ice was initially enhanced by the seeding, but retarded slightly in the later stages, the net result being modest increases in surface rainfall, with hail reduced slightly. In general, the model simulations support several subhypotheses of the operational strategy of the Alberta Research Council regarding the earlier formation of ice, snow, and graupel due to seeding.

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