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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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Mesoscale Banding in Winter Storms


David Novak

Jeff Waldstreicher

Lance Bosart

Daniel Keyser



Archived Training





The training session is organized as follows:

  • Introduction: Describes how band formation affects quantitative precipitation forecasts.
  • Climatology: Provides climatological background of banding by describing observed band types, lifetimes, movement, and location within winter storms.
  • Forcing Mechanisms: Reviews deformation, frontogenesis, and stability concepts, with focus on the relation between stability and the frontogenetical response.
  • Synoptic Context: Places frontogenetical forcing in the context of cyclone evolution, with emphasis on the discriminating synoptic and mesoscale features of banded and nonbanded precipitation systems. Conceptual models of banded and nonbanded systems will also be presented.
  • Forecast Strategy: Presents forecast strategy placing band formation in the context of cyclogenesis, deformation, frontogenetical forcing, and stability.
  • Application: Exercises forecast strategy through interactive case examples of banded and nonbanded systems.

Training Session Options

NOAA/NWS students – to begin the training, use the web-based videoYouTube video, or audio playback options below (if present for this session). Certificates of completion for NOAA/NWS employees can be obtained by accessing the session via the Commerce Learn Center

  1. Audio playback (recommended for low-bandwidth users) – This is an audio playback version in the form of a downloadable VISITview and can be taken at anytime.

    Create a directory to download the audio playback file (25 MB) from the following link:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on either the visitplay.bat or visitauto.bat file to start the lesson. If both files are present, use visitauto.bat

References/Additional Links

  • Talking points are available for this lesson and may be printed out to easily review the session in detail at any time.
  • Weather Event Simulator (WES) Meoscale Banding Simulation Guide based on 6-7 January 2002 snowstorm
  • University at Albany Collaborative Science Technology and Applied Research project web page
  • Novak, D. R., L. F. Bosart, D. Keyser, and J. S. Waldstreicher, 2002: A climatological and composite study of cold season banded precipitation in the northeast United States. Preprints 19th Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting. San Antonio, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
This course is Basic

There are no prerequisites


Dan Bikos

Page Contact

Bernie Connell


Unless otherwise noted, all content on the CIRA RAMMB: VISIT, SHyMet and VLab webpages are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.