Conceptual Models of Precipitation Systems

Imagery from radars and satellites is one of the main ingredients of nowcasting. When used to provide very detailed forecasts of precipitation for a few hours ahead, the imagery needs to be interpreted carefully in terms of synoptic and mesoscale phenomena and their mechanisms. This paper gives an overview of some conceptual models that are useful for this purpose. The models represent a variety of systems associated with midlatitude cyclones and also mesoscale convective systems in the tropics and midlatitudes.