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Microphysics-Regime Impacts on the Relationship between Orographic Rain and Orographic Forcing in the Coastal Mountains of Northern California
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    J. Hydrometeor.
Filetype[PDF-2.90 MB]

  • Description:
    This study examines the impact of microphysics regime on the relationship between orographic forcing and orographic rain in the coastal mountains of northern California using >4000 h of data from profiling Doppler radars, rain gauges and a GPS receiver collected over ten cool seasons. Orographic forcing is documented by hourly upslope flow, integrated water vapor (IWV) and IWV flux observed along the coast at Bodega Bay (BBY, 15 m MSL). Microphysics regime is inferred in the coastal mountains at Cazadero (CZC, 478 m MSL) where hourly periods of brightband (BB) rain and nonbrightband (NBB) rain are designated. BB rain is associated with a microphysics regime dominated by the seeder-feeder process while NBB rain is associated with a microphysics regime dominated by the warm-rain process. Mean BBY upslope flow, IWV and IWV flux are ~16%, ~5% and ~19% larger, respectively, for NBB rain compared to BB rain while mean CZC rain rate is ~33% larger for BB rain compared to NBB rain. The orographic enhancement ratio of CZC to BBY rain rate is 3.7 during NBB rain and 2.7 during BB rain. Rain rate at CZC increases as orographic forcing at BBY increases. For a given amount of BBY orographic forcing, mean CZC rain rates are larger for BB rain compared to NBB rain. Correlation coefficients associated with the relationship between CZC rain rate and BBY orographic forcing are smaller for NBB rain relative to BB rain, but these differences are not statistically significant.
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