Lake-effect snowstorms are a key source of wintertime precipitation and high-impact weather over the Great Lakes region. These storms typically evince one of two contrasting morphologies: Wind-parallel roll circulations in which elongated precipitation features are preferentially oriented along the prevailing low-level flow (and accompanying vertical wind shear), versus long lake-axis parallel (LLAP) precipitation bands that are typically more intense with a preferred mid-lake location. LLAP-type storms are more common over the Eastern Great Lakes (viz. Erie and Ontario), but have been studied far less than wind-parallel bands. This exploratory project will field a newly polarized single "Doppler on Wheels" (DOW) mobile radar to observe LLAP-type snowbands. These data, which will be collected during a five-week period during winter 2010-11, will be complemented by mobile rawinsonde-derived thermodynamic profiles obtained both within and external to these bands.<br/><br/>The intellectual merit of this effort centers on improved specification of the mesoscale morphology, evolution and precipitation mechanisms within intense LLAP-type lake effect snowbands. In view of this first-ever deployment of a polarized DOW in a cool-season setting, attention will be directed to a critical evaluation of polarization quantities and hydrometeor classification output from this recently upgraded platform.<br/><br/>Broader impacts will accrue through support of research at a primarily undergraduate academic institution and via direct involvement of a group of undergraduate students in both the collection and analysis of this exploratory dataset. Results will be disseminated via conference presentations and formal publications.
Collaborative Research: EAGER--Dual-Polarimetric Doppler-On-Wheels Observations of Long Lake-Axis-Parallel Lake-effect Storms over Lakes Erie and Ontario