Precipitation structure and airflow in a mesoscale convective system



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Texas Tech University


This thesis presents a case study of the second of three mesoscale convective systems observed over the PRE-STORM newtwork on 3-4 June 1985. Using reflectivity and wind data from the NCAR CP-3 and CP-4 Doppler radars and reflectivity data from the Wichita, Kansas, WSR-57 radar, the three-dimensional structure of the precipitation pattern and the wind field were determined for three times during the system's lifetime. The rather complex precipitation pattern contained a number of distinct substructural features, including a leading convective line, bands of convection northeast of the leading line, a transition zone or reflectivity trough immediately to the rear of the leading line, and a large region of stratiform precipitation associated with a mesoscale updraft and downdraft. Calculations of vertical mass fluxes show that the distinctive features in the precipitation pattern also made distinctive contributions to the overall vertical mass fluxes in the mesoscale convective system as it evolved with time.