Atmospheric Sciences Research Highlights

Recent publications of the faculty members in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. These posts are in chronological order, with the most recent publication at the top.

Finescale Structure of a Snowstorm over the Northeastern United States: A first look at High-Resolution Hiaper Cloud Radar Observations

Faculty Author: Bob Rauber | Date Published: 7 March 2017 | Read More →

The newly developed High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) Cloud Radar (HCR) is an airborne, W-band, dual-polarization, Doppler research radar that fits within an underwing pod on the National Center for Atmospheric Research Gulfstream-V HIAPER aircraft. On 2 February 2015, the HCR was flown on its maiden research voyage over a cyclone along the Northeast coast of the United States. Six straight flight legs were flown over 6 h between the northern tip of Delaware Bay and Bangor, Maine, crossing the rain–snow line, and passing directly over Boston, Massachusetts, which received over 16 in. of snow during the event. The HCR, which recorded reflectivity, radial velocity, spectral width, and linear depolarization ratio with a 0.7° beam, was pointed at nadir from a flight altitude of 12,800 m (42,000 ft). The along-track resolution ranged between 20 and 200 m, depending on range, at aircraft speeds varying between 200 and 275 m s−1. The range resolution was 19.2 m. Remarkably detailed finescale structures were found throughout the storm system, including cloud-top generating cells, upright elevated convection, layers of turbulence, vertical velocity perturbations across the melting level, gravity waves, boundary layer circulations, and other complex features. Vertical velocities in these features ranged from 1 to 5 m s−1, and many features were on scales of 5 km or less. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the HCR and highlight the remarkable finescale structures revealed within this Northeast U.S. cyclone by the HCR.

Cross Section
Snowfall Distribution
Radar Reflectivity