A synthetic aperture radar-based climatology of open-cell convection over the northeast Pacific Ocean

Todd D. Sikora, George Spencer Young, Caren M. Fisher, Matthew D. Stepp

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This paper presents an 8-yr (1999-2006) climatology of the frequency of open-cell convection over the northeastern Pacific Ocean and the thermodynamic and kinematic environment associated with its development. The climatology is based on synthetic aperture radar-derived wind speed images and reanalysis data. The climatology shows that open-cell convection was a cold-season phenomenon, having occurred in environments inwhich the difference in temperature between the near-surface air and the sea surface is negative and in environments with positive surface sensible and latent heat fluxes.Within the region between the surface and 500 hPa, the 700-850-hPa layermedian static stability was nearmoist adiabatic while that for the remainder was conditionally unstable. The median magnitude of the vertical wind shear was largest in the 925-hPa-nearsurface and 500-700-hPa layers while that atmidlevels was relatively weak. Similarities are highlighted between the organization of open-cell convection over the northeastern Pacific Ocean and tropical deep moist maritime convection in terms of cold-pool dynamics. Avenues for future work are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-603
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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