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A 9-Year Summary of Radar Characteristics of Mesocyclonic Storms and of Deep Convection in Southern Québec

By Aldo Bellon and Isztar Zawadzki


ABSTRACT Nine summers of reflectivity and Doppler data, (1993–2001), archived by the Marshall Radar Observatory of McGill University have been processed for the purpose of identifying the location, strength and frequency of occurrence of severe weather events associated with convective activity. A mesocyclone detection and tracking algorithm has identified 329 features with a lifetime of at least 10 minutes. The distribution of their duration, path length, diameter, depth, rotational velocity and shear are provided, as well as their hourly and monthly frequency. Their geographical distribution reveals an increased relative probability of occurrence over the western area of the McGill radar coverage as well as to the north, near Mirabel, and a reduced probability of occurrence near the metropolitan area of Montréal. The analysis of deep convection has been performed in terms of upper level Vertically Integrated Liquid water content maps (UVIL) where the vertical integration of reflectivity begins at a height of 5 km. UVIL maps are preferred among other types of reflectivity-based radar products because they are the least affected by radar artefacts such as bright band, ground echoes, anomalous propagation and beam blocking. An inherent bias, present in the standard generation of UVIL maps, and due to an oxygen attenuation overcorrection and to the vertical profile of reflectivity of thunderstorms as sampled by a broadening beamwidth, has been identified and corrected. The geographical distribution of UVIL measurements in terms of the time that a UVIL threshold of 10 an

Year: 2002
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