Patchy layered structure of tropical troposphere as seen by Indian MST radar

Asnani, G. C. ; Rama Varma Raja, M. K. ; Salvekar, P. S. ; Narayana Rao, D. ; Kishore, P. ; Narayana Rao, T. ; Venkat Ratnam, M. ; Rao, P. B. (2000) Patchy layered structure of tropical troposphere as seen by Indian MST radar Indian Journal of Radio and Space Physics, 29 (4). pp. 182-191. ISSN 0367-8393

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The MST radar observations at Gadanki (13.47 deg N, 79.18 deg E) show, almost every day throughout the year, stratified layers of intense reflectivity near the tropopause level (approximately 17 km) and also at a couple of levels between 4 km and 10 km. Highest individual reflectivity values occur near 17 km, but they occur for a short while. The region between 11 km and 15 km shows the lowest values of reflectivity along with vertical downward motion almost on all days of the year. High values of reflectivity are attributed to the existence of visible or sub-visible clouds; the layered structure of clouds is attributed to inertio-gravity waves with vertical wavelength of 2-3 km. It is suggested that each high reflectivity layer consists mainly of thin sheets and patches of visible and sub-visible cloud material. Hydrometeors inside the cloud material go up and down due to gravity, precipitation loading, Brunt-Vaisala oscillations, and Kelvin-Helmholtz waves. In these small-scale motions, thin air sheets and patches get formed with sharp temperature and humidity discontinuities through contact cooling, melting, evaporation, condensation, and freezing. Also, melting and freezing at low temperatures generate electrical charges in these thin sheets and patches. These thin sheets and patches have vertical dimensions ranging from a few centimeters to several meters and horizontal dimensions of the order of 1 km. These thin sheets and patches have corresponding vertical and horizontal discontinuities and sharp gradients in refractive index for the MST radar beam. These show up as regions of high values of reflectivity.

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Deposited On:13 Mar 2012 11:41
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