Mechanisms for organization and echo training in a flash-flood-producing mesoscale convective system

John M. Peters, Russ S. Schumacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


In this research, a numerical simulation of an observed training line/adjoining stratiform (TL/AS)-type mesoscale convective system (MCS) was used to investigate processes leading to upwind propagation of convection and quasi-stationary behavior. The studied event produced damaging flash flooding near Dubuque, Iowa, on the morning of 28 July 2011. The simulated convective system well emulated characteristics of the observed system and produced comparable rainfall totals. In the simulation, there were two cold pool-driven convective surges that exited the region where heavy rainfall was produced. Low-level unstable flow, which was initially convectively inhibited, overrode the surface cold pool subsequent to these convective surges, was gradually lifted to the point of saturation, and reignited deep convection. Mechanisms for upstream lifting included persistent large-scale warm air advection, displacement of parcels over the surface cold pool, and an upstreammesolow that formed between 0500 and 1000 UTC. Convection tended to propagate with the movement of the southeast portion of the outflow boundary, but did not propagate with the southwest outflow boundary. This was explained by the vertical wind shear profile over the depth of the cold pool being favorable (unfavorable) for initiation of new convection along the southeast (southwest) cold pool flank. A combination of a southward-oriented pressure gradient force in the cold pool and upward transport of opposing southerly flow away from the boundary layer moved the outflow boundary southward. Upward transport of southerly momentum by convection along the southward-moving outflow boundary, along with convectively induced southward pressure gradient forces cut off southerly inflow to the MCS, which temporarily disrupted backbuilding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1058-1085
Number of pages28
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms for organization and echo training in a flash-flood-producing mesoscale convective system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this