4.4 Rear-Flank Outflow Dynamics and Thermodynamics in the 10 June 2010 Last Chance, Colorado Supercell

Monday, 7 November 2016: 5:30 PM
Pavilion Ballroom (Hilton Portland )
Curtis J. Riganti, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; and A. L. Houston

On 10 June 2010, the second Verification of the Origins of Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2) armada observed a supercell thunderstorm near Last Chance, Colorado. Tempest unmanned aircraft system (UAS) data collected in the rear-flank outflow revealed what appeared to be an elevated outflow head, turbulent wake, and a cold rear-flank internal surge (RFIS). Surface thermodynamic and kinematic data collected by StickNets and mobile mesonets indicated that the outflow wake may have extended to or very near the surface, perhaps cutting off the leading edge of the outflow at times. Single-Doppler data collected by the NOAA X-Pol Mobile Polarimetric Doppler Radar (NOXP) were supportive of the possibility of a downdraft in the outflow wake associated with low-level divergence. A conceptual model of the hypothesized rear-flank outflow structure in the non-tornadic phase of the Last Chance supercell is presented. The observed turbulent wake is consistent with mixing associated with the release of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability rearward of a density current head.  Observations also support the hypothesis that the RFIS would not have existed without the turbulent wake.
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