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PersianPaladin

Can Thunder-Snow Clouds Reach The Tropopause?

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I've been monitoring the skies over the North Sea for the past few weeks during these cold spells lately, and I've noticed some pretty notable convective clouds on occasion which suggest that some of the convection has approached the mature-thunderstorm level. An example:-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dkohara/831694552/#/photos/dkohara/831694552/lightbox/

Normally in thunder-snow synoptics, I usually don't expect convection to exceed the cumulonimbus calvus tropospheric depth:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumulonimbus_calvus

For the most part on the North Sea coasts; we most likely see moderate-depth convection in north-easterly or easterly set-ups. Lightning can occur from calvus clouds, but I'm presuming that we've also had cumolonimbus capillatus which is almost approaching the classic anvil-shaped thunder-cloud. I don't clearly recall any cumulonimbus incus clouds during thunder-snow set-up's for many years; and was wondering if convection at that height is even possible in these thunder-snow set-up's (assuming a difference between sea temperature and 850hpa temperature greater than 14C).

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The precipitation in both the North Sea and Irish Sea in set ups like this is formed just from raw energy and convection. They are capable of producing a thunderstorm, and yes, they are at the mature thunderstorm level. This is why a lot of hail and graupel fall in showers from these seas.

So I suspect convection of that height is possible.

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The precipitation in both the North Sea and Irish Sea in set ups like this is formed just from raw energy and convection. They are capable of producing a thunderstorm, and yes, they are at the mature thunderstorm level. This is why a lot of hail and graupel fall in showers from these seas.

So I suspect convection of that height is possible.

Some notable convection occurred in the Irish Sea from the late November event:-

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=69266671&postcount=2564

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I wouldn't think so. By definition the tropopause is the altitude where tropospheric activity has ceased. If there is any convection, it remains within the troposphere. A powerful cell probably causes a local "bump" in the tropopause topology.

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Why not look at some relevant archive radiosonde ascents for the period as they will give you the depth of instability. Valentia or Castor Bay may be of interest.

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