Radar-derived statistics of convective storms in southeast Queensland

Article


Peter, Justin R., Manton, Michael J., Potts, Rodney J., May, Peter T., 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. https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0347.1
Article Title

Radar-derived statistics of convective storms in southeast Queensland

ERA Journal ID1973
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsPeter, Justin R. (Author), Manton, Michael J. (Author), Potts, Rodney J. (Author), May, Peter T. (Author), Collis, Scott M. (Author) and Wilson, Louise (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Journal Citation54 (10), pp. 1985-2008
Number of Pages24
Year2015
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1558-8424
1558-8432
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0347.1
Web Address (URL)http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0347.1
Abstract

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.

KeywordsAustralia; climatology; convective storms; thermodynamics; radars/radar observations
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020370199. Atmospheric sciences not elsewhere classified
370108. Meteorology
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsInternational Centre for Applied Climate Science
Monash University
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Australia
Collaboration for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Australia
Argonne National Laboratory, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Funding source
Australian Research Council (ARC)
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