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Title: Dynamics and organisation of precipitation bands in the midlatitudes
Author: Norris, Jesse Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 6153
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis is presented in alternative format, meaning that the results of the thesis take the form of three journal articles, each telling a distinct story within the subject matter, but collectively highlighting the sensitivity of bands to frictional and diabatic processes. Paper 1 is an idealised-modelling study with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, in which moist baroclinic waves are simulated from an initial zonally uniform mid-latitude jet on an f-plane at 20-km grid spacing, and the sensitivity of the resulting precipitation bands is explored. Paper 2 employs further WRF idealised-baroclinic-wave simulations and takes a simulation from Paper 1, after the cold front has formed, as the initial condition. A nested domain at 4-km grid spacing is inserted when this simulation is re-initialised to invesigate the sensitivity of finer-scale precipitation cores along the surface cold front. In both Papers 1 and 2, friction and latent-heat release enhance multiple banding at the two distinct horizontal scales, while surface fluxes hinder multiple banding. Paper 3 studies post-frontal snowbands over the English Channel and Irish Sea during extreme cold-air outbreaks in the winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11, via a climatology of precipitation-radar, sounding, and SST data, and real-data WRF sensitivity simulations of one such band over the English Channel. The observational and modelling results show that strong winds and large differential heat fluxes between land and sea were necessary to generate banded precipitation. Coastal orography and the land-sea frictional contrast aided the morphology of bands, but banded precipitation did still form in the absence of these influences in the sensitivity simulations. These three studies and the thesis as a whole highlight the role of frictional and diabatic processes in modifying various types of precipitation bands within baroclinic waves, and in generating bands that would otherwise not exist.
Supervisor: Vaughan, Geraint; Schultz, David Sponsor: NERC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: rainbands, snowbands, mesoscale, extratropical cyclones, cold-air outbreaks, baroclinic waves, diabatic, WRF, radar