Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Justin Minder

Abstract

Knowing the composition and microphysical processes that occur in lake-effect precipitation systems is important in making sure models capture these processes accurately, and could aid forecasters in predicting snow totals and snow water equivalents. Many studies have shown that processes such as riming and dendritic growth can be seen in dual-polarization radar data through parameters such as equivalent radar reflectivity factor, differential reflectivity (ZDR), correlation coefficient, and differential phase. This research examines WSR-88D data from the KTYX (Montague, NY) radar located on the Tug Hill Plateau for several long-lake-axis-parallel lake-effect systems from the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS) field campaign which took place in the winter of 2013-2014, and more recent cases from the winter of 2017-2018. Quasi-vertical profiles (QVPs), in which the radar parameters are azimuthally averaged at a fixed elevation angle and time, were generated. The spatial and temporal variations of reflectivity and the dual-polarization parameters seen in the QVPs were compared with other datasets including surface observations, vertically-pointing micro-rain radars (MRRs), and aircraft data. QVP results show variations in dual-polarization parameters which, along with other datasets, can be used to characterize processes occurring within the bands such as riming and aggregation. Multiple cases show transitions from higher ZDR aloft to near 0 ZDR at the surface. The higher elevation angle QVPs agree well with the MRR data, which shows that QVPs can be applied in lake-effect events, as long as the band is directly over the radar.

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