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Cloud banding and winds in intense European cyclones: results from the DIAMET project

Vaughan, G., Methven, J., Anderson, D., Antonescu, B., Baker, L., Baker, T. P., Ballard, S. P., Bower, K. N., Brown, P. R. A., Chagnon, J., Choularton, T. W., Chylik, J., Connolly, P. J., Cook, P. A., Cotton, R. J., Crosier, J., Dearden, C., Dorsey, J. R., Frame, T. H. A., Gallagher, M. W., Goodliff, M., Gray, S. L., Harvey, B. J., Knippertz, P., Lean, H. W., Li, D., Lloyd, G., Martinez-Alvarado, O., Nicol, J., Norris, J., Öström, E., Owen, J., Parker, D. J., Plant, R. S., Renfrew, I. A., Roberts, N. M., Rosenberg, P., Rudd, A. C., Schultz, D. M., Taylor, J. P., Trzeciak, T., Tubbs, R., Vance, A. K., Van Leeuwen, P. J., Wellpott, A. and Woolley, A. (2015) Cloud banding and winds in intense European cyclones: results from the DIAMET project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 96 (2). pp. 249-265. ISSN 1520-0477

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00238.1

Abstract/Summary

The DIAMET (DIAbatic influences on Mesoscale structures in ExTratropical storms) project aims to improve forecasts of high-impact weather in extratropical cyclones through field measurements, high-resolution numerical modeling, and improved design of ensemble forecasting and data assimilation systems. This article introduces DIAMET and presents some of the first results. Four field campaigns were conducted by the project, one of which, in late 2011, coincided with an exceptionally stormy period marked by an unusually strong, zonal North Atlantic jet stream and a succession of severe windstorms in northwest Europe. As a result, December 2011 had the highest monthly North Atlantic Oscillation index (2.52) of any December in the last 60 years. Detailed observations of several of these storms were gathered using the UK’s BAe146 research aircraft and extensive ground-based measurements. As an example of the results obtained during the campaign, observations are presented of cyclone Friedhelm on 8 December 2011, when surface winds with gusts exceeding 30 m s-1 crossed central Scotland, leading to widespread disruption to transportation and electricity supply. Friedhelm deepened 44 hPa in 24 hours and developed a pronounced bent-back front wrapping around the storm center. The strongest winds at 850 hPa and the surface occurred in the southern quadrant of the storm, and detailed measurements showed these to be most intense in clear air between bands of showers. High-resolution ensemble forecasts from the Met Office showed similar features, with the strongest winds aligned in linear swaths between the bands, suggesting that there is potential for improved skill in forecasts of damaging winds.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:37115
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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