WxTalk Webinar #59


Webinar #59 - Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mesoscale convective systems: Bringing both beneficial rains and hazardous weather to the central and eastern US
Russ Schumacher
Dept of Atmospheric Science
Colorado State Univ.
Fort Collins, CO


A major portion of the summertime rainfall in the central United States comes from “mesoscale convective systems”, or MCSs: large lines or clusters of storms that regularly move across the country.  In many years, the regularity of these MCSs is what provides the rainfall to support the thriving agriculture activity in the central US.  But a lack of MCSs in some years can mean drought, and an overabundance of them can result in significant flooding.  Although much is known about the general conditions that are favorable for MCSs to develop and last for many hours, it remains very challenging to predict their precise location or the specific amount of rain they will produce: in fact, summer heavy precipitation is among the most difficult aspects of the weather to predict.

In this presentation, I will give an overview of different types of MCSs, and what they look like when observed by radars and satellites.  I will address some of the challenges associated with predicting MCSs—and the potential of forecasting systems currently under development—as well as some of their impacts.  Lastly, I will share some insights gained from recent field research campaigns, including the “Plains Elevated Convection At Night”, or PECAN, project that took place in the summer of 2015.

View the Webinar by clicking here:  https://youtu.be/DiLXRHb_fqM

ViewRuss's presentation slides  


For Forecasts:

For real-time monitoring:

For past rainfall, flood forecasts, etc.