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ATSC 3032 Tephigrams, and static stability. sources: handout text online module called “ Skew T mastery ”. 1. Aerological diagrams. Radiosonde (or rawinsonde ) data Maps Vertical profiles. Instrument contains: Hygristor, thermistor, aneroid barometer, and radio transmittor

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atsc 3032 tephigrams and static stability

ATSC 3032Tephigrams, and static stability

sources:

handout text

online module called “Skew T mastery”

1 aerological diagrams
1. Aerological diagrams
  • Radiosonde (or rawinsonde) data
    • Maps
    • Vertical profiles

Instrument contains:

Hygristor, thermistor, aneroid barometer, and radio transmittor

At the ground, a highly directional radio direction finding antenna is used to obtain the wind speed and direction at various levels in the atmosphere by tracking the radiosonde and determining the azimuth and elevation angles.

aerological diagrams
Aerological diagrams
  • Hydrostatic balance
  • Ideal gas law
  • Hypsometric equation
stuve
Stuve

pressure

temperature

slide8

Fig 1d. Elements of a tephigram. First, the 5 lines are shown separately, and then they are combined in the lower-right image.

slide13

LCL (lifting condensation level)

  • Applications
  • Determine the height of the base of cumulus clouds, given surface observations of T and Td :
  • Determine the cloud base temperature:

HLCL

ground

slide14

wet-bulb potential temperature

potential temperature

slide15

equivalent potential temperature

saturated equivalent potential temperature

slide16

wet bulb temperature:

energy balance on the damp sock:

LE = H

LE = 6 u [esat(Tw)-e]

H = 4 u [T-Tw]

(Regnault balance)

slide18

Applications

1. Layer thickness (between po and p)

Dz

Dz = 100 DT

slide24

east

west

Cascade Mountains

slide35

qe*

d

< 0

dz

Conditional vs absolute stability

Case II:

slide36

Absolutely stable

Conditionally unstable

Absolutely unstable

slide37

equilibrium

level

severe

benign

LFC

no convection

convective inhibition

slide40

Typical wet-season tropical sounding

qe*

d

Conditional instability:

< 0

dz

potential instability
Potential instability

or

Potential instability:

slide43

Lifting a potentially

unstable layer

slide44

Latent instability

WLR: wet-bulb lapse rate

deep convection

source layer

significant level indices
Significant level indices

e.g. UW sounding site

  • WB0: Wet bulb zero, Tw = 0°C ideally 7-9,000ft MSL, yet well below the FL
  • PWAT: Precipitable water (mm) the higher the better
  • LCL: Lifting condensation level (mb, from surface data) the lower the better
  • TOTL: Total totals index =T 850 +Td 850 - 2T 500 (°C) the higher the better, thunderstorms probable when TOTL>50
  • KINX: K index =T 850 + Td 850 -T 500 -(T-Td)700 (°C) the higher the better
  • SWET: Sweat index or severe weather threat - the higher the better, for severe storms, SW>300

SWET= 12*Td850 +20*(TOTL-49) + 2*U850 +U500 +125*(0.2+sinf)

where f= [wind direction 500 - wind direction 850 ]

U is expressed in kts and TOTL-49 is set to 0 if TOTL<49

  • MLTH and MLMR: mean mixed layer (lowest 500 m) potential temp and mixing ratio
slide47

PARCEL indices

Lifted index uses:

Actual sfc temp

or

Estimated max sfc temp

or

Mean mixed-layer temp

(note: always use virtual temp!)

slide48

Showalter index

SI=T500-Tp,850

parcel indices
PARCEL indices
  • LIFT: Lifted index (°C) must be negative

LI = T500 – T parcel,near-sfc [a 50 mb deep mixed layer is often used]

  • LFTV: lifted index, but Tv is used.
  • SHOW: Showalter index (°C, as LI but starts from 850mb) must be negativeSHOW = T500 – T parcel,850
  • CAPE: Convective available potential energy - should be over 500J/kg
  • CAPV: CAPE using Tv
  • CINS: Convective inhibition (external energy) - ideally 100-300 J/kg
  • CINV: CIN using Tv
  • CAP: Cap strength (C) Tenv –Tparcel @LCL - should be <5°C
  • LFC: Level free convection (LFCT and LFCT) (mb) - should be close to the LCL
  • EQL: Equilibrium level or level of neutral buoyancy (EQLT and EQLV)(mb) - should be high
  • MPL: Maximum parcel buoyancy level (mb) - level where buoyancy (Tp-Tenv) is maximum
wind parameters
Wind parameters
  • STM: Estimated storm motion (knts) from 0-20,000ft AGL layer, spd 75% of mean, dir 30 deg veer (to the right) from mean wind.
  • HEL: Storm relative helicity 0-10,000ft AG (total value)
  • SHR+: Positive shear magnitude 0-3000m AG (sum of veering shear values)
  • SRDS: Storm relative directional shear 0-3000m AG (directional difference of storm relative winds)
  • EHI: Energy helicity index (prop to positive helicity * CAPE)
  • BRN: Bulk Richardson number 500-6000m AG (BRN = CAPE/.5BSHR2)
  • BSHR: Bulk shear value (magnitude of shear over layer), shear calculated between 1000-500 mb or 500 m –6000 m AGL
example mid term questions
example mid-term questions
  • As a rule of thumb, thunderstorms are possible when LI<0, and severe thunderstorms are likely if LI<-8. Assuming surface values T=32°C, Td=22°C, T500=-7°C, calculate Tv at the surface, and the lifted index LI based on both T and Tv.
    • Note that traditionally LI was calculated based on T, but the more correct procedure uses Tv. The difference is small but not negligible!
  • Using a given sounding on a tephigram, graphically determine, for an air parcel at 850 mb, the following: LCL, Tw , r, rs, e, es, RH, q, qw, qe*, qe,
  • Using a given sounding on a tephigram, graphically determine layers of:
    • absolute instability
    • conditional instability
    • potential instability
    • draw a parcel ascent path and shade the areas of
      • positive energy (CAPE)
      • negative energy (CIN)
slide53

LIFT=-7 K

CAPE=1974 J/kg

CIN=-24 J/kg

LCL= 900 mb

LFL= 836 mb