Examining polarimetric radar observations of bulk microphysical structures and their relation to Vortex Kinematics in Hurricane Arthur (2014)

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Abstract

Dual-polarization radar observations were taken of Hurricane Arthur prior to and during landfall, providing needed insight into the microphysics of tropical cyclone precipitation. A total of 30 h of data were composited and analyzed by annuli capturing storm features (eyewall, inner rainbands, and outer rainbands) and by azimuth relative to the deep-layer environmental wind shear vector. Polarimetric radar variables displayed distinct signatures indicating a transition from convective to stratiform precipitation in the downshear-right to downshear-left quadrants, which is an organization consistent with the expected kinematic asymmetry of a sheared tropical cyclone. In the downshear-right quadrant, vertical profiles of differential reflectivity ZDR and copolar correlation coefficient ρHV were more vertically stretched within and above the melting layer at all annuli, which is attributed to convective processes.An analysis of specific differential phaseKDP indicated that nonspherical ice particles had an increased presence in two layers: just above the melting level and near 8-km altitude. Here, convective updrafts generated ice particles in the lower layer, which were likely columnar crystals, and increased the available moisture in the upper layer, leading to increased planar crystal growth. A sharp transition in hydrometeor population occurred downwind in the downshear-left quadrant where ZDR and rHV profiles were more peaked within the melting layer. Above the melting layer, these signatures indicated reduced ice column counts and shape diversity owing to aggregation in a predominantly stratiform regime. The rainband quadrants exhibited a sharper transition compared to the eyewall quadrants owing to weaker winds and longer distances that decreased azimuthal mixing of ice hydrometeors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4521-4541
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume145
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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