Surface radar-derived convective rainfall associations with Midwest US land surface conditions in summer seasons 1999 and 2000

Corene J. Matyas, Andrew M. Carleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that spatial heterogeneities in soil moisture and/or vegetation cover promote the development of convective clouds. We examine the intensity of convective precipitation for the Midwest US Corn Belt in the summers of 1999 and 2000, which had contrasting synoptic circulation, atmospheric humidity, and soil moisture conditions. For days when synoptic scale atmospheric forcing is weak, we calculate a convective severity index (CSI) based on radar reflectivity composite values. Our results suggest that boundaries between soil types, and cropland and forest vegetation types in the western portion of the Corn Belt, enhance the development of convective precipitation. In the eastern part of the Corn Belt, less convection occurs, but we find a positive correlation between the intensity of convection and soil moisture conditions. Our results also demonstrate that the CSI is a simple yet effective technique for identifying where deep convection occurs relative to lighter precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-330
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Volume99
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

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land surface
soil moisture
convection
maize
radar
rainfall
summer
convective cloud
atmospheric forcing
vegetation type
reflectivity
vegetation cover
soil type
index
atmospheric humidity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Previous research has suggested that spatial heterogeneities in soil moisture and/or vegetation cover promote the development of convective clouds. We examine the intensity of convective precipitation for the Midwest US Corn Belt in the summers of 1999 and 2000, which had contrasting synoptic circulation, atmospheric humidity, and soil moisture conditions. For days when synoptic scale atmospheric forcing is weak, we calculate a convective severity index (CSI) based on radar reflectivity composite values. Our results suggest that boundaries between soil types, and cropland and forest vegetation types in the western portion of the Corn Belt, enhance the development of convective precipitation. In the eastern part of the Corn Belt, less convection occurs, but we find a positive correlation between the intensity of convection and soil moisture conditions. Our results also demonstrate that the CSI is a simple yet effective technique for identifying where deep convection occurs relative to lighter precipitation.",
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