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Research on Landfalling Hurricanes Utilizing Ground- Based Mobile Research Platforms Kevin Knupp, Dan Cecil, Walt Petersen, and Larry Carey University.

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Presentation on theme: "Research on Landfalling Hurricanes Utilizing Ground- Based Mobile Research Platforms Kevin Knupp, Dan Cecil, Walt Petersen, and Larry Carey University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research on Landfalling Hurricanes Utilizing Ground- Based Mobile Research Platforms Kevin Knupp, Dan Cecil, Walt Petersen, and Larry Carey University of Alabama in Huntsville

2 Mobile facilities  MIPS: Mobile Integrated Profiling System (UAH):  915 MHz wind profiler (915)  X-band Profiling Radar (XPR)*  12-channel microwave profiling radiometer  Ceilometer  Parsivel laser disdrometer  Surface instrumentation (electric field mill is an option)  MAX: Mobile Alabama X-Band dual polarization radar (UAH)*  Portable Lightning Mapping Array (NASA)*  Instrumented automobile (standard meteorological variables) * under development, expected prior to hurricane season

3 MIPS Components 915 MHz profiler Electric Field Mill 12-channel Microwave Profiling Radiometer Ceilometer 2 kHz Doppler sodar Surface instr. Satellite comm. Not shown: 2 raingages and disdrometer X

4 A vertically-pointing X-band radar (fabrication in progress) will replace the sodar

5 Mobile Alabma X-band (MAX) dual polarization radar (Joint effort between UAH and Baron Services) Initial tests conducted on 3/4/08 were successful! Now in the process of calibration.

6 Miscellaneous surface instruments Parsivel disdrometer Elec. Field Mill

7 Scientific topics Kinematics, microphysics, and thermodynamics of rain bands and stratiform rain areas –Mesoscale updrafts and downdrafts within stratiform –Convective transports Hurricane-spawned tornadoes: –Kinematics of intense rainbands –Mini-supercell kinematics Boundary layer characteristics –Mean wind profiles –TKE profiles –BL transition: water to land; land to water –Shear/convergence along the coast (differential drag) QPE Miscellaneous targets of opportunity

8 Mesoscale motions within stratiform areas Example: –Hurricane Ivan (2004) –Relationship to cooling by evaporation (mesoscale downdrafts) and associated intensity change around the time of landfall Stratiform precipitation is the majority within the TC

9 Vertical Velocity (contoured;  e plotted below the figure) Outer stratiform and rainbands core

10 2 km TREC analysis (KMOB) ground-relative winds: 2230 UTC

11 Microphysics of of an intense stratiform rainband Tropical Storm Gabrielle (2001) EVAD analysis of SMART-R Analysis of 915 vertical beam spectra –Bright-band physics (example follows) –DSD profiles and their variability

12 Detailed look at the bright band Aggregation occurs most of the time Aggregation-dominant periods Breakup-dominant periods Breakup dominant Reflectivity factor

13 Boundary layer transition Tropical Storm Gabrielle (2001) Combined Doppler radar (SMART-R) and 915 analysis On-shore flow vs. off-shore flow

14 915 MHz profiler moments Enhanced spectrum width (turbulence) marks the BL

15 Details of the wind profiles for onshore flow a)Wind profiles have a similar shape. b)A combination of spatial (mesoscale) and temporal variability may be present. c)A side experiment: compare dropsonde wind profile with mean wind profiler profile and wind components within an RHI vertical plan

16 MAX sampling VAD to high elevation –Vertical motion –Hydrometeor fall speeds –Profiling of both mean wind and TKE Sector scans RHI Doppler radars and serve as very powerful profiling systems

17 Generic experimental designs A specific design will satisfy more than one scientific objective Two types: –MIPS and MAX co-located –MIPS and MAX separated

18 a)XPR will provide high resolution vertical profiles of Doppler spectra b)915 will scan in normal profiling mode (wind profiles) c)MAX: RHI scans over MIPS; VAD scans for dual Doppler and profiing d)MIPS within dual Doppler lobe e)P-3 Doppler support, in situ microphysics, dropsondes MIPS 915 Disdrometer XPR MAX VAD & RHI Plan view 88D MIPS MAX Rainband kinematics and microphysics QPE Boundary layer (shear along the coast) 15 km km P-3 Dual Doppler lobe Locate within km of 88D when possible

19 MIPS and MAX co-located a)XPR will provide high resolution turbulent fluctuations b)915 will scan in normal profiling mode (wind profiles) c)MAX will conduct: (1) VAD scans to high elevation to get W, DIV, V h and TKE profiles; (2) RHI’s normal to the coast MIPS 915 Disdrometer XPR MAX EVAD Plan view 88D MIPS MAX Boundary layer experiment Stratiform kinematics and microphysics QPE P-3 Dual Doppler lobe

20 MIPS and MAX separated by 5-10 km a)XPR will provide high resolution vertical profiles of Doppler spectra b)915 will scan in normal profiling mode (wind profiles) c)MAX will run in profiling mode and acquire RHI scans over MIPS and opposite MIPS MIPS 915 Disdrometer XPR MAX RHI Plan view 88D MIPS MAX Boundary layer transition Rainband kinematics QPE km P-3 Dual Doppler lobe

21 Other considerations Coordination with other groups –Other radars (DOW, SMART-R) –Surface measurements (USA network, FMCP and TTU deployments) Specific design depends on locations of good sites and intensity of the tropical cyclone.

22 Summary Mobile ground-based instruments will provide additional information on the physical processes associated with landfalling TC’s Perhaps the best targets are weaker hurricanes (


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