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RUI: Study of the Structure and Dynamics of Great Lakes Winter Storms

9224384 Byrd Precipitation from winter storms in the form of snow and freezing rain are among the most disruptive of meteorological phenomena. Under a previous award, the Principal Investigators have used observational data and a numerical model to study the extremely heavy snowfalls that occur on the lee side of the Great Lakes. Accomplishments have included identifying critical boundary layer and atmospheric parameters that are conducive to producing locally heavy snowfalls. The Principal Investigators in cooperation with the National Weather Service will continue this research. Planned activities include developing a more sophisticated numerical model and expansion of their investigations to include the local influence of the Great Lakes on cyclonic winter storms. Research objectives include: 1. Documenting the spatial and temporal variability of meteorological fields within and upwind of lake-effect snow regions, focussing on the role of boundary layer stability, depth, moisture and wind shear in modulating these disturbances; 2. Investigating the role of dynamical forcing mechanisms in the formation and maintenance of mesoscale lake-effect snow bands and mesoscale precipitation structures associated with winter season wave cyclones of the Great Lakes region; 3. Studying the effect of multiple-lake interactions on the formation and maintenance of lake-effect snow bands; 4. Investigating the effects of orography on the distribution and behavior of lake-effect snow bands; 5. Determining the importance of the Great Lakes and the surrounding topography in the distribution and behavior of mesoscale precipitation features associated with winter season cyclones in the Great Lakes region. ***

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