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Mechanisms initiating deep convection over complex terrain during COPS

Kottmeier, Christoph and Kalthoff, Norbert and Barthlott, Christian and Corsmeier, Ulrich and van Baelen, Joël and Behrendt, Andreas and Behrendt, Rainer and Blyth, Alan and Coulter, Richard and Crewell, Susanne and di Girolamo, Paolo and Dorninger, Manfred and Flamant, Cyrille and Foken, Thomas and Hagen, Martin and Hauck, Christian and Höller, Hartmut and Konow, Heike and Kunz, Michael and Mahlke, Holger and Mobbs, Stephen and Richard, Evelyne and Steinacker, Reinhold and Weckwerth, Tammy and Wieser, Andreas and Wulfmeyer, Volker (2008) Mechanisms initiating deep convection over complex terrain during COPS. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 17, pp. 931-948. DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2008/0348.

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Official URL: http://www.dmg-ev.de/gesellschaft/publikationen/zeitschrift.htm


Precipitating convection in a mountain region of moderate topography is investigated, with particular emphasis on its initiation in response to boundary-layer and mid- and upper-tropospheric forcing mechanisms. The data used in the study are from COPS (Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study) that took place in southwestern Germany and eastern France in the summer of 2007. It is found that the initiation of precipitating convection can be roughly classified as being due to either: (i) surface heating and low-level flow convergence; (ii) surface heating and moisture supply overcoming convective inhibition during latent and/or potential instability; or (iii) mid-tropospheric dynamical processes due to mesoscale convergence lines and forced mean vertical motion. These phenomena have to be adequately represented in models in order to improve quantitative precipitation forecast. Selected COPS cases are analysed and classified into these initiation categories. Although only a subset of COPS data (mainly radiosondes, surface weather stations, radar and satellite data) are used here, it is shown that convective systems are captured in considerable detail by sensor synergy. Convergence lines were observed by Doppler radar in the location where deep convection is triggered several hours later. The results suggest that in many situations, observations of the location and timing of convergence lines will facilitate the nowcasting of convection. Further on, forecasting of the initiation of convection is significantly complicated if advection of potentially convective air masses over changing terrain features plays a major role. The passage of a frontal structure over the Vosges – Rhine valley – Black Forest orography was accompanied by an intermediate suppression of convection over the wide Rhine valley. Further downstream, an intensification of convection was observed over the Black Forest due to differential surface heating, a convergence line, and the flow generated by a gust front.

Document Type:Article
Title:Mechanisms initiating deep convection over complex terrain during COPS
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Kottmeier, ChristophKIT, Karlsruhe
Kalthoff, NorbertUBP/CNRS, F
Barthlott, ChristianKIT, Karlsruhe
Corsmeier, UlrichKIT, Karlsruhe
van Baelen, JoëlUBP/CNRS, F
Behrendt, AndreasUniv. Hohenheim, Hohenheim
Behrendt, RainerHessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt
Blyth, AlanNCAS, Leeds, UK
Coulter, RichardArgonne National Lab., Argonne, USA
Crewell, SusanneUniv. zu Köln, Köln
di Girolamo, PaoloUniv. degli Studi della Basilicata, Potenza, I
Dorninger, ManfredUniv. Wien, Wien, A
Flamant, CyrilleUniv. Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, F
Foken, ThomasUniv. Bayreuth, Bayreuth
Hauck, ChristianKIT, Karlsruhe
Höller, HartmutUNSPECIFIED
Konow, HeikeKIT, Karlsruhe
Kunz, MichaelKIT, Karlsruhe
Mahlke, HolgerKIT, Karlsruhe
Mobbs, StephenNCAS, Leeds, UK
Richard, EvelyneUniv. de Toulouse, F
Steinacker, ReinholdUniv. Wien, Wien, A
Weckwerth, TammyNCAR, Boulder, USA
Wieser, AndreasKIT, Karlsruhe
Wulfmeyer, VolkerUniv. Hohenheim, Hohenheim
Journal or Publication Title:Meteorologische Zeitschrift
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 931-948
Keywords:convection, orography, precipitation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Cloud Physics and Traffic Meteorology
Deposited By: Jana Freund
Deposited On:12 Jan 2009
Last Modified:20 Oct 2014 14:33

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