Session 16.7 Top-down vs bottom-up genesis of tornadoes and tropical cyclones

Thursday, 20 August 2009: 12:00 PM
The Canyons (Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel)
William R. Cotton, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Presentation PDF (156.5 kB)

While preparing updates and revisions to the 2nd Edition of “Storm and Cloud Dynamics” by Cotton and Anthes, I reviewed the theories for tornado genesis in supercells and non-supercell convection, and tropical cyclone(TC) genesis from mesoscale convective vorticies(MCVs). In so doing I found a number of common features between the two theories. In this talk I will first provide an overview of top-down vs bottom-up theories of tornado genesis including the environmental properties that favor the bottom-up genesis. I will then review the theories for top-down vs bottom-up genesis of TCs from MCVs, including the environmental properties that favor TC genesis from MCVs. This will include the role of vertical hot towers and book-end vorticies. Conclusions and suggestions for further research will be provided.
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