Journal article

Environment and Mechanisms of Severe Turbulence in a Midlatitude Cyclone

Stanley B Trier, Robert D Sharman, Domingo Munoz-Esparza, Todd P Lane

Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences | American Meteorological Society | Published : 2020


A large midlatitude cyclone occurred over the central United States from 0000 to 1800 UTC 30 April 2017. During this period, there were more than 1100 reports of moderate-or-greater turbulence at commercial aviation cruising altitudes east of the Rocky Mountains. Much of this turbulence was located above or, otherwise, outside the synoptic-scale cloud shield of the cyclone, thus complicating its avoidance. In this study we use two-way nesting in a numerical model with finest horizontal spacing of 370 m to investigate possible mechanisms producing turbulence in two distinct regions of the cyclone. In both regions, model-parameterized turbulence kinetic energy compares well to observed turbule..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council's Discovery Program

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Wiebke Deierling (NCAR) and AndreasDornbrack (German Aerospace Center Institute of Atmospheric Physics) for beneficial discussions about this research and three anonymous reviewers for their comments, which resulted in improvements to the paper. This research is in response in part to requirements and funding by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy of the FAA. Author T. P. Lane's involvement in this work is supported by the Australian Research Council's Discovery Program (DP200102516). The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.