Mesoscale convective systems during NAME

A. VALDÉS-MANZANILLA, V. L. BARRADAS MIRANDA

Abstract

This work examines Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS) observed during the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME), using data of deployed instruments in Northwest Mexico like weather radar, atmospheric soundings and weather satellite. Satellite infrared images were used to define these meteorological phenomena during July-August 2004 period on the NAME core region. Eighty two MCS occurred during NAME in a summer season lightly more active than normal, due probably to a ridge position more to the south than normal. Southwesterly midlevel winds dominate in the region during inactive MCS formation periods, while easterly winds dominate during active periods. MCS initiation time was mostly between afternoon and evening, while their termination time was after midnight with an average MCS duration of 7.46 hours. Most of NAME MCS formed associated to synoptic ridges and inverted troughs. Few of them related to tropical cyclones. Most of the analyzed convective lines in this region were classifiable (70%), being most of them shear-parallel lines (69%). Not only the magnitude and direction of the midlevel and low-level wind shear vectors were important to MCS morphology, as is seen in weather radar images, but also the angle between these two wind shear vectors. Kinematic parameters were more important to MCS morphology than thermodynamic ones.

Keywords

North American Monsoon Mesoscale Convective System

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