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Multiscale Evolution of A Derecho-producing Mesoscale Convective System


In this paper the authors address one type of severe weather: strong straight-line winds. The case of a mesoscale convective system that developed in eastern Colorado on 12-13 May 1985 was studied. The system formed in the afternoon, was active until early morning, and caused strong winds during the night. A multiscale nonhydrostatic full physics simulation was performed to formulate a conceptual model of the main airflow branches of the system, and to gain understanding of the physical processes involved in the strong wind generation in this storm. Four telescopically nested grids covering from the synoptic-scale down to cloud-scale circulations were used. A Lagrangian model was employed to follow trajectories of parcels that took part in the updraft and downdraft, and balances of forces were computed along the trajectories. The,strong nocturnal winds were caused by downdrafts reaching the surface and by a dynamically forced horizontal pressure gradient force. The most important branch of the downdraft had an ``up-down'' trajectory. Parcels originated close to the ground, were lifted up by a strong upward-directed pressure gradient force, and became colder than their surroundings as they ascended in a stable environment. Then, as they went through the precipitation shaft, they sank due to negative buoyancy enhanced by condensate loading. The upward pressure gradient force was partially related to midlevel perturbation vorticity in the storm.}

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Fiscal Year
Publication Name
Monthly Weather Review
Published On
January 01, 1999
Publisher Name
Amer Meteorological Soc
Print Volume
Print Number


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Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

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