Convective storm life cycle and environments near the Sierras de Córdoba, Argentina

Jake P. Mulholland, Stephen W. Nesbitt, Robert J. Trapp, Kristen L. Rasmussen, Paola V. Salio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Satellite observations have revealed that some of the world's most intense deep convective storms occur near the Sierras de Córdoba, Argentina, South America. A C-band, dual-polarization Doppler weather radar recently installed in the city of Córdoba in 2015 is now providing a high-resolution radar perspective of this intense convection. Radar data from two austral spring and summer seasons (2015-17) are used to document the convective life cycle, while reanalysis data are utilized to construct storm environments across this region. Most of the storms in the region are multicellular and initiate most frequently during the early afternoon and late evening hours near and just east of the Sierras de Córdoba. Annually, the peak occurrence of these storms is during the austral summer months of December, January, and February. These Córdoba radar-based statistics are shown to be comparable to statistics derived from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Precipitation Radar data. While generally similar to storm environments in the United States, storm environments in central Argentina tend to be characterized by larger CAPE and weaker low-level vertical wind shear. One of the more intriguing results is the relatively fast transition from first storms to larger mesoscale convective systems, compared with locations in the central United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2541-2557
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Climatology
  • Convective storms
  • Mesoscale processes
  • Radars/Radar observations
  • Reanalysis data
  • Storm environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Convective storm life cycle and environments near the Sierras de Córdoba, Argentina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this