Radar-derived statistics of convective storms in southeast Queensland

Peter, Justin R. and Manton, Michael J. and Potts, Rodney J. and May, Peter T. and Collis, Scott M. and Wilson, Louise (2015) Radar-derived statistics of convective storms in southeast Queensland. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 54 (10). pp. 1985-2008. ISSN 1558-8424

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The aim of this study is to examine the statistics of convective storms and their concomitant changes with thermodynamic variability. The thermodynamic variability is analyzed by performing a cluster analysis on variables derived from radiosonde releases at Brisbane Airport in Australia. Three objectively defined regimes are found: a dry, stable regime with mainly westerly surface winds, a moist northerly regime, and a moist trade wind regime. S-band radar data are analyzed and storms are identified using objective tracking software [Thunderstorm Identification, Tracking, Analysis, and Nowcasting (TITAN)]. Storm statistics are then investigated, stratified by the regime subperiods. Convective storms are found to form and maintain along elevated topography. Probability distributions of convective storm size and rain rate are found to follow lognormal distributions with differing mean and variance among the regimes. There was some evidence of trimodal storm-top heights, located at the trade inversion (1.5–2 km), freezing level (3.6–4 km), and near 6 km, but it was dependent on the presence of the trade inversion. On average, storm volume and height are smallest in the trade regime and rain rate is largest in the westerly regime. However, westerly regime storms occur less frequently and have shorter lifetimes, which were attributed to the enhanced stability and decreased humidity profiles. Furthermore, time series of diurnal rain rate exhibited early morning and midafternoon maxima for the northerly and trade regimes but were absent for the westerly regime. The observations indicate that westerly regime storms are primarily driven by large-scale forcing, whereas northerly and trade wind regime storms are more responsive to surface characteristics.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 05:20
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2017 03:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia; climatology; convective storms; thermodynamics; radars/radar observations
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040199 Atmospheric Sciences not elsewhere classified
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040107 Meteorology
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960202 Atmospheric Processes and Dynamics
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960203 Weather
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0347.1
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30993

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