Finescale orographic precipitation variability and gap-filling radar potential in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Update item information
Publication Type pre-print
School or College College of Mines & Earth Sciences
Department Meteorology
Creator Steenburgh, William James
Other Author Campbell, Leah S.
Title Finescale orographic precipitation variability and gap-filling radar potential in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
Date 2014-01-01
Description Finescale variations in orographic precipitation pose a major challenge for weather prediction, winter road maintenance, and avalanche forecasting and mitigation in mountainous regions. In this investigation, ground based X-band radar observations collected during intensive observing period 6 (IOP6) of the Storm Chasing Utah Style Study (SCHUSS) are used to provide an example of these variations during a winter storm in the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah. Emphasis is placed on precipitation features in and around Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC), which cuts orthogonally eastward into the central Wasatch Mountains. Precipitation during the weakly stratified prefrontal storm stage featured a wavelike barrier-scale reflectivity maximum over the Wasatch Crest and upper LCC that extended weakly westward along the transverse ridges flanking LCC. This precipitation pattern appeared to reflect a veering wind profile, with southwesterly flow over the transverse ridges but cross-barrier westerly flow farther aloft. Sublimation within dry subcloud air further diminished low-level radar reflectivities over lower LCC. In contrast, the cold-frontal stage was associated with stronger reflectivities over lower LCC and the adjoining north- to northwest-facing canyon wall, consistent with shallow, northwesterly upslope flow. These results highlight the finescale precipitation variations that can occur during winter storms in complex terrain and demonstrate the potential for improved analysis and forecasting of precipitation in LCC using a gap-filling radar.
Type Text
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Volume 29
Issue 4
First Page 912
Last Page 935
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Campbell, L. S., & Steenburgh, W. J. (2014). Finescale orographic precipitation variability and gap-filling radar potential in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. Weather and Forecasting, 29(4), 912-35.
Rights Management (c) American Meteorological Society
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 6,761,217 bytes
Identifier uspace,18886
ARK ark:/87278/s6b314d2
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2015-03-02
Date Modified 2015-03-02
ID 712848
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6b314d2
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