168 ZDR Column Altitudinal Extent in Isolated Tornado-producing Supercells

Thursday, 10 November 2016
Broadway Rooms (Hilton Portland )
Adrianne J. Engel, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; and M. S. Van Den Broeke

Analysis of particular differential reflectivity (ZDR) signatures in supercell thunderstorms provides vital information regarding microphysical distributions, which, in turn, supply insight into storm evolution and propagation. For example, characteristics of the ZDR column – depicted by an area of high ZDR values that extends above the environmental 0 ˚C level and is collocated with the updraft – have been linked to specifics regarding updraft strength and thus, storm intensity. Assessing the presence of patterns of ZDR column altudinal extent above the environmental 0 ˚C level and column shape through storm-scale space and time may offer crucial information concerning changes in updraft, and subsequently mesocyclone, strength. A sample of 145 tornadic and nontornadic supercells spanning the period of February 2012 – December 2014 will be analyzed in order to assess variability of ZDR column shape and extent above the environmental 0 ˚C level. Findings from an examination of a few case studies will also be provided in order to allow for valuable comparisons between storm populations with similar column characteristics across varying convective environments.
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