P3.9 Coordinated in-situ and remote sampling of supercell thunderstorms

Monday, 27 October 2008
Madison Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Christopher C. Weiss, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX ; and J. Wurman

In field data collection, in-situ and remote sampling individually have significant advantages, the former providing direct information regarding the thermodynamic state near the surface and extending the kinematic depiction (afforded by radar) to the ground. Radar observations, in turn, contribute to a volumetric understanding of the severe storm environment, mitigating much of the issue of representativeness inherent in in-situ sampling. The combination of in-situ and remote methods, however, provides a sophisticated perspective that allows one to critically diagnose severe storm structure.

Detailed in this presentation will be data jointly collected by the 2008 Multiple Observations of Boundaries in the Local-Storm Environment (MOBILE_2008) Project and the 2008 Radar Observations of Tornadoes and Thunderstorms Experiment (ROTATE). There were at least four cases where the coordination was successful: 14 May 2008 (Eden, TX), 23 May 2008 (Ness City, KS), 25 May 2008 (Bison, KS), and 4 June 2008 (Valparaiso, NE). For most of these cases, MOBILE_2008 deployed upwards of 24 Texas Tech StickNet probes in regions of Doppler on Wheels radar coverage, allowing for a unique integration of these measurements. In situ data from up to 12 ROTATE 1-m in situ probes, and up to 4 instrumented vehicles, one armored, were available for some of these deployments.

These cases will provide insight into the fine-scale thermodynamic and kinematic variability of the near-updraft environment of pre-tornadic supercell thunderstorms. Initial interpretation of some of these observations will be offered, partly in the context of the possible role of baroclinity in the promotion of low-level mesocyclone intensity.

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