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Thermodynamical structure of atmosphere during pre-monsoon thunderstorm season over Kharagpur as revealed by STORM data

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date04/2013
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Journal number4
Volume170
Number of pages13
Pages675-687
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Variation of atmospheric thermodynamical structure parameters between days of thunderstorm occurrence and non-occurrence is presented based on data sets obtained during Severe Thunderstorm-Observations and Regional Modeling (STORM) experiments conducted over Kharagpur (22.3°N, 87.2°E) in pre-monsoon season of 2009 and 2010. Potential instability (stable to neutral) is noticed in the lower layers and enhanced (suppressed) convection in the middle troposphere during thunderstorm (non-thunderstorm) days. Low-level jets are observed during all days of the experimental period but with higher intensity on thunderstorm days. Convective available potential energy (CAPE) builds up until thunderstorm occurrence and becomes dissipated soon after, whereas convective inhibition (CIN) is greatly decreased prior to the event on thunderstorm days. In contrast, higher CAPE and CIN are noticed on non-thunderstorm days. Analysis of thermodynamic indices showed that indices including moisture [humidity index (HI) and dew point temperature at 850 hPa (DPT850)] are useful in differentiating thunderstorm from non-thunderstorm days. The present study reveals that significant moisture availability in the lower troposphere in the presence of convective instability conditions results in thunderstorm occurrence at Kharagpur.