170 Mesoscale Data Assimilation and Verification of the Storm Environment on June 13, 2010 during VORTEX2

Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Symphony III and Foyer (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Therese E. Thompson, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and G. Romine, C. Snyder, D. C. Dowell, L. J. Wicker, and X. Wang

On June 13, 2010 VORTEX2 collected observations in the eastern Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. Convection developed early in the afternoon on the cool side of an approximately South-Southwest to North-Northeast boundary. The sub-severe convection slowly moved to the Northeast. An approximately east-west outflow boundary was also present from the previous day's convection. The northernmost storm moved over the intersection of the two boundaries and intensified. The storm quickly gained supercell characteristics and went on to produce tornadoes. The complex mesoscale environment and the tornadic storm were not captured well with conventional observations.

To study the intensification and tornadogenesis of this storm we must first obtain an accurate representation of the mesoscale environment. The WRF-DART system will be used on a 15 km horizontal grid covering the contiguous US with a 3 km horizontal grid nest over the convective region. The model will be cycled beginning several days prior to the event. Conventional observations will be assimilated every 6 hours leading up to the 13th. More frequent cycling with radar data assimilation will be done on the 13th. We will be examining which observations and at what frequency is required to capture the boundaries and initiate convection. An overview of the analyzed storm environment will be presented. The mesoscale background will be compared to VORTEX2 observations for verification.

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