Sunday, November 6, 2011

Preliminary Analysis of IOP5 Storm

We're starting to get a look at the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar data from the Friday Night–Saturday Morning storm and it's quite remarkable.

First, here's a loop of the lake-effect precipitation.  The pac-man-like radar coverage extends from the southeastern Great Salt Lake (top) to just west of south of Point of the Mountain (bottom).  The red reflectivity maxima that don't move are the Wasatch Range.  The central Wasatch are between about 90 and 135 degrees in this image.  

Click for this to loop (big file)
A strong lake-effect band exists at ~1245 UTC (0645 MDT).

We can take vertical slices through the storm along the redish/blue lines above.  One cuts through the lake band, the other through the Broads Fork Twin Peaks.  In the resulting image below, the wedge on the right cuts vertically through the lake band, the other across the Salt Lake Valley and into the Broads Fork Twin, which is the diagonal radar reflectivity maximum (red) on the extreme left hand side.

What is most remarkable about this image is how shallow the precipitation is.  It barely extends to mountaintop level.  I always tell people that lake-effect storms can be quite shallow and that you can often see the sun through the clouds when in the mountains, but this is really incredible.

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