11A.1 Analysis and Prediction of a Rare EF4 Tornado on June 23, 2016 in Northern Jiangsu Province, China

Wednesday, 9 November 2016: 1:30 PM
Pavilion Ballroom East (Hilton Portland )
Ming Xue, CAPS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and K. Zhu, Z. Sun, K. Zhao, M. Wang, and S. Sun

In the afternoon of June 23, 2016 between 1400 and 1500 LST, a severe tornado occurred in Funing County of Yancheng City in northern Jiangsu Province of China. The tornado was rated EF-4 intensity based on damage survey and had a ground damage track of about 35 km, and a damage track width of over 3 km at places. This tornado caused 98 deaths and over 800 injuries. Another weaker tornado occurred about one hour later in Seyang Country further east, causing one death. While northern Jiangsu has climatologically the highest frequency of tornado occurrence within China, a tornado reading EF-4 intensity is rare and occurs only once every several decades.  

The Funing tornado was associated with a supercell storm that had a pronounced hook echo seen from an operational S-band Doppler radar located at Yangcheng that was within 50 km of the storm. A strong, well-definded mesocyclone is seen in the Doppler velocity data while tornado-vortex signatures closely track the ground damage track. A realtime experimental 4-km-grid-spacing forecast initalized at 0800 LST (0000 UTC) produced several supercell storms in the vicinity of the observed tornado, with the southernmost supercell being the strongest (as was observed) and producing a 2-5 km updraft helicity maximum center that is the strongest between 1400 and 1500 LST (the Funing tornado period) and follows a similar west-to-east track as the observed tornado. Additional experiments are performed assimilating Doppler radar and dense surface data at higher spatial resolutions. Results of these data assimilation experiments and associated anayses will be presented at the conference, together with ground and arial damage survey information.

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