Lifetimes of Overshooting Convective Events Using High-Frequency Gridded Radar...

Jellis, D., K. Bowman, and A. Rapp (2023), Lifetimes of Overshooting Convective Events Using High-Frequency Gridded Radar Composites, Mon. Wea. Rev., 151, 1979-1992, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-23-0032.1.

Deep convection that penetrates the tropopause, referred to here as overshooting convection, is capable of lifting tropospheric air well into the stratosphere. In addition to water, these overshoots also transport various chemical species, affecting chemistry and radiation in the stratosphere. It is not currently known, however, how much transport is a result of this mechanism. To better understand overshooting convection, this study aims to characterize the durations of overshooting events. To achieve this, radar data from the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) network is composited onto a three-dimensional grid at 5-min intervals. Overshoots are identified by comparing echo-top heights with tropopause estimates derived from ERA5 reanalysis data. These overshoots are linked in space from one analysis time to the next to form tracks. This process is performed for 12 four-day sample windows in the months May–August of 2017–19. Track characteristics such as duration, overshoot area, tropopause-relative altitude, and column-maximum reflectivity are investigated. Positive correlations are found between track duration and other track characteristics. Integrated track volume is found as a product of the overshoot area, depth, and duration, and provides a measure of the potential stratospheric impact of each track. Short-lived tracks are observed to contribute the most total integrated volume when considering track duration, while tracks that overshoot by 2–3 km show the largest contribution when considering overshoot depth. A diurnal cycle is observed, with peak track initiation around 1600–1700 local time. Track-mean duration peaks a few hours earlier, while track-mean area and tropopause-relative height peak a few hours later.

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Atmospheric Composition
Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP)