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Forecasting Distributions of Warm-Season Precipitation Associated with 500-hPa Cutoff Cyclones Matthew A. Scalora, Lance F. Bosart, Daniel Keyser Dept.

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Presentation on theme: "Forecasting Distributions of Warm-Season Precipitation Associated with 500-hPa Cutoff Cyclones Matthew A. Scalora, Lance F. Bosart, Daniel Keyser Dept."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forecasting Distributions of Warm-Season Precipitation Associated with 500-hPa Cutoff Cyclones Matthew A. Scalora, Lance F. Bosart, Daniel Keyser Dept. of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences University at Albany/SUNY, Albany, NY Neil A. Stuart and Thomas A. Wasula NOAA/NWS, Albany, NY 29 June 2009 NOAA/CSTAR Grant NA07NWS

2 Motivation Forecasting heavy precipitation and severe weather associated with slow-moving 500-hPa cutoff cyclones is a challenge Models often have trouble predicting evolution of cutoffs and accurate precipitation amounts Complex terrain over the northeastern U.S. plays a significant role in modulating precipitation distributions in cutoffs

3 Objectives 1)Study 20 warm-season cases of cutoff cyclones that tracked through the northeastern U.S. and affected the region with varying amounts of precipitation and severe weather 2) Investigate the 23–25 July 2008 cutoff cyclone by examining dynamic and thermodynamic fields and features throughout the troposphere

4 Datasets and Methodology 1.0° GFS analysis (2000–2006 cases) and 0.5° GFS analysis (2007–2008 cases) used to create isobaric charts 2.5° NCEP–NCAR reanalysis used to derive climatological fields consisting of centered 15-d means from 1979–2008 for: - wind speed - temperature - lapse rate - precipitable water

5 Datasets and Methodology 1.0° and 0.5° GFS analyses used to calculate standardized anomalies with respect to climatological fields created from NCEP–NCAR reanalysis 24-h precipitation amounts from the NCEP/CPC Unified Precipitation Dataset (2000 cases) and NWS National Precipitation Verification Unit (2001–2008 cases)

6 Methodology for Case Selection 500-hPa cyclone is a cutoff if a 30-m height rise is found in all directions from a height minimum for at least 12 h 45 total storm days in conjunction with 20 cutoff cyclone cases over the last nine warm seasons (June–September) Days defined as 1200–1200 UTC

7 Methodology (cont.) 1) Rank 45 storm days by precipitation amounts - Fraction of New England, NY, PA, and NJ receiving at least 25 mm of precipitation - Determine PWAT anomalies averaged over precipitating areas 2)Examine all 45 storm days for evidence of distinctive synoptic-scale flow patterns and stratify resulting patterns - Positive, neutral, and negative tilts classified for each 500-hPa cutoff–trough system 3) Create schematics using composited data from the two 6-h times of heaviest precipitation for each storm day (usually 1800 and 0000 UTC)

8 Methodology for Tilt - Some cutoff cases spanning multiple days have varying tilts throughout the case Positive tilt if α ≥ 20°Negative tilt if α ≤ –20° Neutral tilt if –20° < α < 20°

9 Results Five distinct patterns of lower-, middle-, and upper-level features based on 500-hPa cutoff–trough system tilt (two positive, two neutral, one negative)

10 Five Synoptic-Scale Flow Patterns 1)Positive Tilt “Type A” Southerly low-level flow, zonal upper-level jet along the downstream upper-level ridge 2) Positive Tilt “Type B” Easterly low-level flow, upper-level jet within eastern side of trough that envelops cutoff 3) Neutral Tilt “Type A” Southerly low-level flow 4) Neutral Tilt “Type B” Westerly low-level flow 5)Negative Tilt Northwesterly low-level flow

11 - Precipitation amounts trend directly with PWAT - PWAT > 2 SD above normal is fairly uncommon but Positive Tilt “Type A” Neutral Tilt “Type A” Positive Tilt “Type B” Neutral Tilt “Type B” Negative Tilt yields heavy precipitation over a large area

12 Positive Tilt “Type A” Composites N = 4/20 cases

13 Positive Tilt “Type A” Composites N = 4/20 cases

14 Positive Tilt “Type A” Severe Weather: Average is 8 reports/day; mostly high wind reports Precipitation Modes: Stratiform and convective N = 4/20 cases

15 Positive Tilt “Type B” Severe Weather: Average is 6 reports/day Precipitation Modes: Stratiform bands with embedded convection N = 6/20 cases

16 Neutral Tilt “Type A” Severe Weather: Average is 33 reports/day; hail common under upper cold pool Precipitation Modes: Stratiform and convective bands N = 7/20 cases

17 Neutral Tilt “Type B” Severe Weather: Average is 57 reports/day; mostly hail Precipitation Modes: Mostly convective N = 4/20 cases

18 Negative Tilt Severe Weather: Average is 21 reports/day; mostly hail Precipitation Modes: Only convective N = 3/20 cases

19 CASE STUDY 23–25 July 2008 Cutoff Cyclone

20 Overview Cutoff cyclogenesis from preexisting positively tilted trough over eastern Canada Dominant precipitation modes: convective lines/bow echoes, supercells, stratiform rain regions Widespread flash flooding and storm-total precipitation amounts of 7–9 cm along north–south-oriented bands Numerous hail and wind reports Two tornadoes over New England

21 3-d (1200 UTC 22 July–1200 UTC 25 July 2008) mean 500 hPa Z (dam); track of 500-hPa cutoff cyclone center

22 SPC Storm Reports: 23 July 2008 Tornado Wind Hail

23 1218 UTC 23 July1804 UTC 23 July Radar Base Reflectivity (dBZ)

24 0100 UTC 24 July0121 UTC 24 July Radar Base Reflectivity (dBZ)Surface Observations Temp (°C; contoured) Temp (°C), Dewpoint (°C), SLP (hPa)

25 1800 UTC 23 July0000 UTC 24 July

26 1800 UTC 23 July0000 UTC 24 July

27 1800 UTC 23 July0000 UTC 24 July

28 1800 UTC 23 July0000 UTC 24 July

29 1800 UTC 23 July

30 23 July 2008 Summary Cutoff exhibits deep cyclonic flow with embedded vorticity maxima and corridor of strong low-level wind shear Right-entrance region of upper-level jet streak provides favorable QG forcing for ascent Surface boundary and 850-hPa θ e ridge provide focus for severe weather Convergence of moisture streams from Gulf of Mexico and western North Atlantic contributes to heavy precipitation over the northeastern U.S.

31 SPC Storm Reports: 24 July 2008 Tornado Wind Hail

32

33 Surface Observations 1500 UTC 24 July Radar Base Reflectivity (dBZ) 1549 UTC 24 July Temp (°C; contoured) Temp (°C), Dewpoint (°C), SLP (hPa) Tornado touchdown at 1533 UTC

34 1200 UTC 24 July1800 UTC 24 July

35 1200 UTC 24 July1800 UTC 24 July

36 1200 UTC 24 July1800 UTC 24 July

37 1200 UTC 24 July

38 24 July 2008 Summary Cutoff orientation pivots from neutral to negative tilt Surface boundaries and associated convergence enhance convection within rainband over eastern New England Surface boundaries and strong low-level jet provide focus for severe weather Hail occurs in region of steep midlevel lapse rates beneath cold pool coinciding with cutoff cyclone

39 Conclusions Upper-level jets, midlevel vorticity maxima, and surface boundaries associated with cutoff cyclone are important for determining precipitation distribution Surface boundary, low-level θ e ridge, and low-level jet provide focus for severe weather

40 Conclusions (cont.) Anomalously high precipitable water values contribute to widespread heavy precipitation Steep lapse rates below cold-core cutoff cyclone favor hail occurrence Schematics of five distinct patterns of lower-, middle-, and upper-level features useful in determining where precipitation or severe weather will be most significant

41 Acknowledgements Lance Bosart and Dan Keyser NWS focal points Neil Stuart and Tom Wasula Kevin Tyle and Dave Knight Faculty and grad students Allison and family

42 Questions/Comments?


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