161 Effect of cell merger and environmental boundaries on the evolution of a supercell thunderstorm observed during VORTEX2

Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Symphony III and Foyer (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Curtis J. Riganti, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE; and M. I. Biggerstaff, C. M. Schwarz, D. P. Betten, G. D. Carrie, and K. J. Thiem

During the afternoon of 19 May 2010, numerous supercell thunderstorms developed in west-central and central Oklahoma along a dry line and warm front. One supercell that formed in Dewey and Roger Mills Counties in west-central Oklahoma underwent a merger with a separate cell to its south. This supercell thunderstorm was also affected by its proximity to a warm front and outflow boundaries from nearby storms, which may have had significant effects on fluctuations in strength of the cell's updraft and eventual evolution to outflow dominance of the main supercell.

In this study, data from the two C-band SMART radars and the X-band NOXP dual-polarimetric radar are examined to understand how the merger affected the main updraft and low-level mesocyclone of the dominant storm. Thermodynamic data from the Texas Tech Sticknets and mobile mesonets around the storms of interest are used to examine the impact of the thermal boundaries associated with the warm front and outflows on the evolution of the two supercell thunderstorms.

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