13.6 VORTEX2 Observations and Data Assimilation Experiments of the 18 May 2010 Dumas, Texas Supercell

Thursday, 8 November 2012: 9:45 AM
Symphony I and II (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Patrick S. Skinner, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; and C. C. Weiss, L. J. Wicker, and C. K. Potvin
Manuscript (7.0 MB)

A fifteen-minute period of the pretornadic phase of the 18 May 2010 Dumas, Texas supercell was well observed by several platforms participating in the second Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment. Fine-scale dual-Doppler syntheses at Ka-band (TTUKa) combined with high-temporal resolution volumetric single-Doppler data at X-band (MWR-05XP) and in situ observations from a six-probe mobile mesonet reveal the development and decay of a low-level mesocyclone distinct from a persistent midlevel mesocyclone. The low-level mesocyclone develops entirely within the broad-scale rear-flank downdraft (RFD) with counterrotating vortices originating near the surface and straddling the leading edge of an internal RFD surge gust front, intensifies during periods of minimal displacement from the midlevel mesocyclone, and two additional internal RFD surges develop along the western periphery of the low-level mesocyclone while it is at its maximum intensity. The low-level mesocyclone never extends more than 2 km above ground level and rapidly decays as it becomes displaced vertically and horizontally from the midlevel mesocyclone.

A summary of observational findings will be presented in tandem with initial results from ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) data assimilation experiments of the Dumas supercell. The EnKF experiments assimilate storm-scale Doppler radar observations at C- (SMART-R) and S-band (KAMA WSR-88D) into an ensemble of 48 members with 500 m horizontal grid spacing. The ability of EnKF analyses to reproduce the evolution of small-scale storm features such as the low-level mesocyclone and internal RFD surges will be verified through comparison with independent MWR-05XP and TTUKa observations and preliminary quantitative analyses of low-level mesocyclogenesis and internal RFD surge forcing mechanisms will be presented.

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