15B.3 Insights into Predicting Tornado Development Using NEWS-e Vorticity Forecasts

Thursday, 10 November 2016: 2:00 PM
Pavilion Ballroom West (Hilton Portland )
Jessica M. McDonald, NOAA/SPC/Hollings, Norman, OK; and J. Correia Jr.

This project seeks to determine if the low-level vorticity forecasts generated by the NSSL Experimental Warn-on-Forecast System for ensembles (NEWS-e) offer clues for predicting tornadic activity. The vast amount of data produced by NEWS-e requires filtering to provide meaningful results that can be used in forecast decision-making.  Here, the authors create a “storm object” filter and apply it to forecasts provided by NEWS-e for five (5) different severe weather events. Candidate storm objects must exceed a maximum relative vorticity of 0.006 s-1 and a mean updraft speed of 5 ms-1. They are classified as tornadic if any part of the storm object is within 30 km of a tornado report. The vertical profiles of vorticity in each storm object reveal consistent mid-level vorticity maxima that vary little in height and strength across all storm objects. Any low-level vorticity maxima exhibited by the storm objects have much greater structural variability; these structural differences may offer a way to differentiate between tornadic and non-tornadic storm objects. It is hoped that this study will provide information on how to best utilize the NEWS-e vorticity forecasts for short-term tornado prediction.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner