Polarimetric Radar Analysis of the Microphysics of Charge Separation in an MCC Event on June 15, 2013

Kun-Yuan Lee, Jacquelyn Susanne Ringhausen


On June 15, 2013, a mesoscale convective complex (MCC) developed over northeast Oklahoma and tracked to southwest Illinois. This MCC brought large hail, heavy rain and damaging wind to the area, including thunderstorm wind gusts to 75 mph, resulting in a loss of power. Although many studies have investigated MCC events, they have rarely compared their lightning structure with polarimetric radar variables. We will use polarimetric variables to analyze the strom's structure and show why some region within the MCC exhibit substantial electrical activity while nearby areas exhibit little to none. We will also examine spectrum width in association with lightning occurrence. In some MCCs, it has been observed that an unusually high percentage of cloud-to-ground lightning has positive polarity. Polarimetrically-inferred precipitation processes will also be investigated relative to areas of positive-polarity lightning. Our results may aid in understanding the microphysical structure of MCCs and provide infromation to aid aviation meteorologists. Using poarimetric radar to analyze this event will allow a better picture of MCC structure than satellite data or non-polarimetric radar data can provide, and may help develope future forecasting techniques.


MCC, Lightning, Dual-polarization

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