Session 7A.6 Extreme wind events observed in the 2002 Thunderstorm Outflow Experiment

Tuesday, 5 October 2004: 5:45 PM
Kirsten D. Gast, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; and J. L. Schroeder

Presentation PDF (256.6 kB)

The Thunderstorm Outflow Experiment was conducted from 1 June – 15 July 2002 near Lubbock, TX to obtain high-resolution data of the kinematic and thermodynamic surface structure of thunderstorm outflows. Seven mobile towers of heights ranging from 3 m to 15 m were deployed in a linear array from north to south and spanned a total distance of 1570 m. A WSR-88D Doppler radar was located about 22 km to the east-northeast of the array at Lubbock International Airport, which provided vital information about the parent thunderstorm characteristics. Finally, a West Texas Mesonet station was located about 20 m west of the array and served as the basis for data validation.

Two extreme wind events were captured during the experiment: a rear-flank downdraft (RFD) of a nontornadic supercell, and a derecho. The RFD produced wind gusts in excess of 40 ms-1 and a relatively warm outflow. The derecho, on the other hand, was associated with cold outflow air, and generated gusts in excess of 30 ms-1. Thermodynamic and kinematic analyses for each event will be discussed including some turbulence statistics.

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