9.5 Spatial distributions of tornadic near-storm environments by convective mode

Wednesday, 7 November 2012: 9:30 AM
Symphony I and II (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Richard L. Thompson, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/SPC, Norman, OK; and B. T. Smith, A. R. Dean, and P. T. Marsh
Manuscript (5.3 MB)

Near-storm environmental data were collected for a sample of 22 901 significant severe thunderstorm and tornado events for the period 2003-2011 across the contiguous United States, filtered by the maximum event magnitude per hour on a 40-km horizontal spacing grid. The sample includes the radar-based (WSR-88D) convective mode at the time of each event, as well as various measures of buoyancy and vertical wind shear. We will show the smoothed spatial distributions of buoyancy and vertical wind shear by convective mode for the tornado events across the contiguous United States, including both mean and percentile rank values. The primary goal of this work is to establish typical ranges of tornado-related parameters within the spatial envelope where the events occur most frequently. This will allow direct comparisons of parameter values across different regions of the United States for different types of tornadic storms, and aid in the diagnosis and prognosis of tornado environments both locally and nationally.
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