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Objective Analysis of Constant Altitude Aircraft Measurements in Thunderstorm Inflow Regions

J. C. FankhauserNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307

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C. J. BiterNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307

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C. G. MohrNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307

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R. L. VaughanNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307

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Abstract

Objective numerical techniques are applied in analyzing constant altitude aircraft measurements obtained from coordinated research flights in thunderstorm inflow regions. The approach combines meteorological and flight track data from dual or single aircraft missions in a common frame of reference and transforms the observations from original analogue format to horizontal two-dimensional Cartesian coordinates. Operational procedures guiding the data collection, intercomparison techniques for refining instrument calibrations and corrections for aircraft navigation errors are all considered.

Results of the interpolations are judged in the context of the storms' associated radar echo features. Primary applications include calculation of water vapor influx in cloud base updrafts. Evidence indicates that the fullest exploitation of the inflow mapping will come through combining kinematic fields observed concurrently by aircraft and multiple Doppler radars.

Abstract

Objective numerical techniques are applied in analyzing constant altitude aircraft measurements obtained from coordinated research flights in thunderstorm inflow regions. The approach combines meteorological and flight track data from dual or single aircraft missions in a common frame of reference and transforms the observations from original analogue format to horizontal two-dimensional Cartesian coordinates. Operational procedures guiding the data collection, intercomparison techniques for refining instrument calibrations and corrections for aircraft navigation errors are all considered.

Results of the interpolations are judged in the context of the storms' associated radar echo features. Primary applications include calculation of water vapor influx in cloud base updrafts. Evidence indicates that the fullest exploitation of the inflow mapping will come through combining kinematic fields observed concurrently by aircraft and multiple Doppler radars.

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