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. 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. 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