Poster Session P8.4 Misocyclone Detection and Observations using the WSR-88D: Operational Implications for the Warning Meteorologist

Wednesday, 8 November 2006
Pre-Convene Space (Adam's Mark Hotel)
Albert E. Pietrycha, NWS, Pleasant Hill, MO; and K. L. Manross and E. Nelson

Handout (2.4 MB)

Numerous observational and numerical research efforts have addressed various theories behind the development of misocyclones and nonmesocyclone tornadoes. However, to date, few operationally relevant studies have examined WSR-88D data to address the detection of preexisting vortices prior to and during the development of the nonmesocyclone tornadoes. When sufficient scatterers are present within the boundary layer, the WSR-88D can resolve misocyclones with adequate temporal resolution to enhance a warning forecaster's situational awareness and improve warning lead time on tornado warnings associated with nonmesocyclone tornadoes.

The paper will contain documentation on radar resolved vortices obtained from several central High Plains events, primarily associated with the Denver Convergence Vorticity Zone. Coherent vortices, which were embedded within those surface boundaries and were identifiable in the radar data up to 120 minutes prior to tornado genesis, exhibited horizontal diameters of 1 to 4 km, vertical depths up to 3 km agl, and exhibited the well documented “S” shape reflectivity signature. Vortex mergers were also resolved as well as collocation of vortices with larger parent tornadic circulations that ascended with height. Recommendations will also be offered to foster an operational forecaster's situational awareness for the detection and monitoring of misocyclones.

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