7.2 Oklahoma City: A Testbed for Studying Severe Weather in an Urban Zone

Wednesday, 4 August 2010: 5:00 PM
Crestone Peak I & II (Keystone Resort)
Jeffrey B. Basara, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and P. L. Heinselman and R. Hluchan

Officially commissioned in 2008, the Oklahoma City Micronet (OKCNET) deployed a dense network of in situ surface stations that measure atmospheric variables including air temperature, relative humidity, pressure, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation at enhanced spatial (~3 km average station spacing) and temporal (1-minute) scales. Because Oklahoma City is embedded within a region climatologically favored for severe weather combined with the fact that the spatial dimensions of Oklahoma City are large compared to many urban areas, numerous severe weather events have been sampled by OKCNET including squall lines and tornadic supercells. When combined with additional operational and experimental observing systems in central Oklahoma (including the Phased Array Radar), Oklahoma City represents a testbed for studying (1) the impacts of severe weather across an urban area and (2) modification of severe events by the underlying urban zone. This study documents a number of specific cases including severe squall lines on 27 May 2008, 19 August 2009, and 2 April 2010 as well as tornadic supercells on 10 February 2009 and 13 May 2009.
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