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Intensive probing of a clear air convective field by radar and instrumental drone aircraft.An instrumented drone aircraft was used in conjunction with ultrasensitive radar to study the development of a convective field in the clear air. Radar data are presented which show an initial constant growth rate in the height of the convective field of 3.8 m/min, followed by a short period marked by condensation and rapid growth at a rate in excess of 6.1 m/min. Drone aircraft soundings show general features of a convective field including progressive lifting of the inversion at the top of the convection and a cooling of the air at the top of the field. Calculations of vertical heat flux as a function of time and altitude during the early stages of convection show a linear decrease in heat flux with altitude to near the top of the convective field and a negative heat flux at the top. Evidence is presented which supports previous observations that convective cells overshoot their neutral buoyancy level into a region where they are cool and moist compared to their surroundings. Furthermore, only that portion of the convective cell that has overshot its neutral buoyancy level is generally visible to the radar.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Rowland, J. R. (Johns Hopkins University Silver Spring, Md., United States)
Date Acquired
August 7, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1973
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Applied Meteorology
Volume: 12
Subject Category
Distribution Limits