17 Jan 2024
 | 17 Jan 2024

Tracking precipitation features and associated large-scale environments over southeastern Texas

Ye Liu, Yun Qian, Larry K. Berg, Zhe Feng, Jianfeng Li, Jingyi Chen, and Zhao Yang

Abstract. Deep convection initiated under different large-scale environments exhibits different precipitation features and interacts with local meteorology and surface properties in distinct ways. Here, we analyze the characteristics and spatiotemporal patterns of different types of convective systems over southeastern Texas using 13 years of high-resolution observations and reanalysis data. We find that mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) contribute significantly to both mean and extreme precipitation in all seasons, while isolated deep convection (IDC) plays a role in intense precipitation during summer and fall. Using self-organizing maps (SOMs), we found that convection can occur under unfavorable conditions without large-scale lifting or moisture convergence. In spring, fall and winter, frontal-related large-scale meteorological patterns (LSMPs) characterized by baroclinic waves and low-level moisture convergence act as primary triggers for convection, while the remaining storms are associated with an anticyclone pattern and orographic lifting. In summer, IDC are mainly associated with front-related and anticyclones LSMPs, while MCSs occur more in frontal-related LSMPs. We further tracked the lifecycle of MCSs and IDC using the Flexible Object Tracker algorithm over southeastern Texas. MCSs frequently initiate west of Houston, travelling eastward for around 8 hours to southeastern Texas, while IDC initiate locally. The average duration of MCSs in southeastern Texas is 6.1 hours, approximately 4.1 times the duration of IDC. Diurnally, the initiation of convection associated with favorable LSMPs peak at 1100 UTC, 3 hours earlier than those associated with anticyclones.

Ye Liu, Yun Qian, Larry K. Berg, Zhe Feng, Jianfeng Li, Jingyi Chen, and Zhao Yang

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-112', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-112', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Feb 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-112', Anonymous Referee #3, 14 Feb 2024
Ye Liu, Yun Qian, Larry K. Berg, Zhe Feng, Jianfeng Li, Jingyi Chen, and Zhao Yang
Ye Liu, Yun Qian, Larry K. Berg, Zhe Feng, Jianfeng Li, Jingyi Chen, and Zhao Yang


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Short summary
Various weather conditions influence different intense rains in southeastern Texas. MCSs contribute to both average and extreme rainfall year-round, while IDC play a role in heavy rain during summer and fall. In spring, fall, and winter, frontal weather triggers convection, while in summer, IDC is linked to both fronts and high-pressure systems, and MCSs are more associated with fronts. Front-associated convection starts around 1100 UTC, while high-pressure-related convection starts a bit later.