Convective Raincells

Stanley A. Changnon Jr. Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL 61820

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Abstract

Convective raincells, as delineated by surface rainfall data from large and dense raingage networks in Illinois, were analyzed to define various characteristics. Raincells are the surface expression of convective entitles, and as such are important in furthering our understanding of convective storms, for designing mesoscale studies, and for evaluating numerical cloud models. The raincells exhibited great variability in most characteristics, but were typically 16 km long, 6 km wide, and had a mean rainfall of 2.5 mm. Their orientations varied widely but the most frequent was WSW–ENE. There was a second but infrequent class of large raincells that often exceed 43 km in length and can be up to 40 km wide.

Abstract

Convective raincells, as delineated by surface rainfall data from large and dense raingage networks in Illinois, were analyzed to define various characteristics. Raincells are the surface expression of convective entitles, and as such are important in furthering our understanding of convective storms, for designing mesoscale studies, and for evaluating numerical cloud models. The raincells exhibited great variability in most characteristics, but were typically 16 km long, 6 km wide, and had a mean rainfall of 2.5 mm. Their orientations varied widely but the most frequent was WSW–ENE. There was a second but infrequent class of large raincells that often exceed 43 km in length and can be up to 40 km wide.

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