Poster Session P1.5 The Father’s Day 2002 severe weather outbreak across New York and Western New England

Monday, 4 October 2004
Thomas A. Wasula, NOAA/NWS, Albany, NY

Handout (2.4 MB)

On 16 June 2002, a significant severe weather outbreak occurred across the Northeast. This was the third major outbreak in three weeks across eastern New York and western New England during the 2002 severe weather season. Severe thunderstorms developed that produced large hail, strong winds and tornadoes. The tornadoes that developed in the Mohawk and Hudson River Valleys were F0's and F1's. A 500 hPa closed low that moved across the northern Great Lakes region on 15 June helped initiate the severe weather on Father’s day (16 June). The mid-level cold pool associated with the 500 hPa low sparked a second day of severe weather for eastern New York and western New England. Several large hail (greater than 1.9 cm) producing thunderstorms on Monday 17 June 2002 developed, as the trough continued moving east across the Northeast.

Convective initiation occurred early in the afternoon on 16 June with thunderstorms developing over central New York. Steep lapse rates, moderately high Convective Available Potential Energy’s (CAPE) and dewpoints coupled with a vigorous 500 hPa short wave trough helped trigger the convection. A 500 hPa southwesterly jet streak greater than 50 knots was moving across upstate New York and New England during this outbreak. Wind profiles from soundings across eastern New York and New England indicated the possibility of supercell thunderstorm development conducive for potential tornadoes. The tornado that developed in the mid-Hudson River Valley was associated with a well-defined supercell that formed in Dutchess County, New York and moved into Litchfield County, Connecticut.

This poster presentation will focus on an investigation of the evolution of the large-scale synoptic pattern associated with the severe weather outbreak, and the mesoscale environment that generated the convection. The role of jet streaks at various levels (lower and upper) will also be examined. Data used in this analysis will include ETA model grids, surface observations, upper air data, satellite imagery, and WSR-88D radar data. The operational forecast challenges of 500 hPa closed lows across the Northeast will also be addressed in the poster.

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