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Thundersnow - Destructive turbulence?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 6th 04, 04:46 PM
Peter R.
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Default Thundersnow - Destructive turbulence?

Right now there is a pretty intense lake-enhanced band of snow going on to
the north of my home airport. Twenty four to thirty six inches (0.6 to 1
meter) of snow is expected in that narrow region over the next day. The
forecasters included lightning and thunder in their discussion of this band
of snow.

I understand why there is the forecast of thunder and lightning activity,
what they call "thundersnow," during this snow event but I am curious about
the turbulence.

Could an intense lake effect band of snow produce destructive turbulence
equal to that found inside a strong thunderstorm? My guess would be no,
but I am certainly no expert. Anyone?

--
Peter












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  #2  
Old January 6th 04, 04:59 PM
Peter Duniho
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"Peter R." wrote in message
...
[...]
Could an intense lake effect band of snow produce destructive turbulence
equal to that found inside a strong thunderstorm? My guess would be no,
but I am certainly no expert. Anyone?


Seems to me, if it can create lightning (and thus thunder), it can create
serious turbulence as well. Where did you think the lightning came from?

Pete


  #3  
Old January 6th 04, 06:23 PM
Mike Rapoport
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"Peter R." wrote in message
...
Right now there is a pretty intense lake-enhanced band of snow going on to
the north of my home airport. Twenty four to thirty six inches (0.6 to 1
meter) of snow is expected in that narrow region over the next day. The
forecasters included lightning and thunder in their discussion of this

band
of snow.

I understand why there is the forecast of thunder and lightning activity,
what they call "thundersnow," during this snow event but I am curious

about
the turbulence.

Could an intense lake effect band of snow produce destructive turbulence
equal to that found inside a strong thunderstorm? My guess would be no,
but I am certainly no expert. Anyone?

--
Peter

It is the same process as any thunderstorm. The potential for turbulence is
lessend (somewhat) because the colder air can hold less moisture (which
equals energy). We are still talking about convective storms so there will
be plenty of vertical shear which equates to turbulence.

Mike
MU-2



  #4  
Old January 6th 04, 07:22 PM
Rick Durden
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Default

Peter,

A thunderstorm is a thunderstorm, regardless of surface air
temperature, if it possesses the necessary energy and lifting to make
a thunderstorm, then it is a thunderstorm no matter whether the precip
it spews forth hits the ground as rain or snow. Don't forget that
summer thunderstorms are putting out snow above the freezing level.
Any thunderstorm, regardless of surface temperature can, and will,
destroy an airplane. The old rule of thumb is that the taller the
cell and the faster moving the line, the more intense the
thunderstorm. If there is enough energy to create a thunderstorm in
cold weather, than the chances are it's going to be a nasty sucker.
But it's okay, the baby thunderstorms are only just big enough to pull
an airplane apart.

All the best,
Rick

Peter R. wrote in message ...
Right now there is a pretty intense lake-enhanced band of snow going on to
the north of my home airport. Twenty four to thirty six inches (0.6 to 1
meter) of snow is expected in that narrow region over the next day. The
forecasters included lightning and thunder in their discussion of this band
of snow.

I understand why there is the forecast of thunder and lightning activity,
what they call "thundersnow," during this snow event but I am curious about
the turbulence.

Could an intense lake effect band of snow produce destructive turbulence
equal to that found inside a strong thunderstorm? My guess would be no,
but I am certainly no expert. Anyone?

--
Peter












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  #5  
Old January 7th 04, 05:10 PM
Peter R.
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Rick Durden ) wrote:

A thunderstorm is a thunderstorm, regardless of surface air
temperature, if it possesses the necessary energy and lifting to make
a thunderstorm, then it is a thunderstorm no matter whether the precip
it spews forth hits the ground as rain or snow.

snip

Thanks, Rick, Mike, and Peter.

Apparently I was lulled into believing that this type of convective
activity was not the same as a monster t-storm that occurs during the
summer due to the cold temperatures, lower tops, and slower moving cells.

I took a look at the NOAA's convective outlook page and interestingly they
had no organized convective activity across the US yesterday. However, the
text from the forecaster did briefly mention convective possibilities in
lake effect activity.

--
Peter












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  #6  
Old January 7th 04, 05:23 PM
Mike Rapoport
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"Peter R." wrote in message
...
Rick Durden ) wrote:

A thunderstorm is a thunderstorm, regardless of surface air
temperature, if it possesses the necessary energy and lifting to make
a thunderstorm, then it is a thunderstorm no matter whether the precip
it spews forth hits the ground as rain or snow.

snip

Thanks, Rick, Mike, and Peter.

Apparently I was lulled into believing that this type of convective
activity was not the same as a monster t-storm that occurs during the
summer due to the cold temperatures, lower tops, and slower moving cells.


You were right. The cold temperatures matter because the dewpoints are
lower thus less fuel for convection. The real issue, addressed by Rick, is
how tame of a thunderstorm are you willing to fly into?

Mike
MU-2


I took a look at the NOAA's convective outlook page and interestingly they
had no organized convective activity across the US yesterday. However,

the
text from the forecaster did briefly mention convective possibilities in
lake effect activity.

--
Peter












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  #7  
Old January 7th 04, 05:30 PM
Peter R.
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Mike Rapoport ) wrote:

The real issue, addressed by Rick, is
how tame of a thunderstorm are you willing to fly into?


In my lifetime? Hopefully no TS, no matter how tame.

--
Peter












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