Session 13.5 Doppler radar analysis of the 28 April 2002 La Plata, MD tornadic supercell

Thursday, 7 October 2004: 11:30 AM
David R. Manning, NOAA/NWSFO, Sterling, VA; and S. M. Zubrick

Presentation PDF (940.3 kB)

A severe weather outbreak occurred on 28 April 2002 from the Tennessee Valley through the Mid Atlantic and into the Eastern Great Lakes Region. Warm advection precipitation served to stabilize the environment along and north of the surface warm frontal boundary, which was located across the Mid Atlantic Region through the morning hours. Explosive convective development occurred across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys during the early afternoon, reaching the Mid Atlantic Region during the late afternoon and evening hours.

A cyclical long-lived supercell tracked from West Virginia across lower southern Maryland during the event, causing several tornadoes during its lifespan. One of these tornadoes touched down in Charles County, MD and strengthened to F4 intensity as it destroyed a large portion of the central business district of La Plata, MD. The structure, motion and storm characteristics will be assessed along the storm's track through the NOAA/National Weather Service Sterling, VA area of responsibility.

Changes in the 3-dimensional reflectivity structure of the storm will be assessed as the storm progressed through its cyclical behavior using multiple elevation tilts from the Sterling, VA (KLWX) WSR-88D radar. Storm relative motion and radial velocity data from the KLWX WSR-88D will supplement the reflectivity data. Changes in storm motion will also be analyzed during the lifespan of the storm. Information derived from WSR-88D algorithm data will also be assessed throughout the event.

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