Observations and modeling of banded orographic convection
Kirshbaum, D. J. and Durran, D. R. (2005) Observations and modeling of banded orographic convection. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 62 (5). pp. 1463-1479. ISSN 1520-0469
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JAS3417.1
Radar images and numerical simulations of three shallow convective precipitation events over the Coastal Range in western Oregon are presented. In one of these events, unusually well-defined quasi-stationary banded formations produced large precipitation enhancements in favored locations, while varying degrees of band organization and lighter precipitation accumulations occurred in the other two cases. The difference between the more banded and cellular cases appeared to depend on the vertical shear within the orographic cap cloud and the susceptibility of the flow to convection upstream of the mountain. Numerical simulations showed that the rainbands, which appeared to be shear-parallel convective roll circulations that formed within the unstable orographic cap cloud, developed even over smooth mountains. However, these banded structures were better organized, more stationary, and produced greater precipitation enhancement over mountains with small-scale topographic obstacles. Low-amplitude random topographic roughness elements were found to be just as effective as more prominent subrange-scale peaks at organizing and fixing the location of the orographic rainbands.