34th Conference on Radar Meteorology


Radar observations of supercells during VORTEX2

Donald W. Burgess, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and M. I. Biggerstaff, L. J. Wicker, C. L. Ziegler, E. R. Mansell, D. P. Betten, G. D. Carrie, C. M. Schwarz, and T. E. Thompson

Three mobile Doppler radars (two C-band and one X-band dual polarization) are being used to observe supercell thunderstorms in the central Plains of the United States during the ongoing VORTEX2 field campaign. The C-band radars are tasked with sampling the entire three-dimensional flow of the storm every 3 minutes with the X-band radar sampling low-mid storm levels of the storm right flank in the same time interval. The resulting data provide high spatial and temporal resolution of storm-scale and mesocyclone-scale storm features that contribute to tornadogenesis. Novel signal processing methods are being used which should allow for more rapid analysis of the data than previously permitted. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of VORTEX2 from the perspective of storm-scale and mesocyclone-scale observations that most closely resemble the features that can be observed with operational Doppler radar networks. We will show preliminary analyses from both tornadic and non-tornadic supercells, focusing on the evolution of the rear-flank downdraft and its apparent roll in aiding the development of low-level mesocyclones and tornadoes or in causing strong surges that diminish the likelihood of tornadogenesis.

wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 5B, Severe Weather I
Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 8:30 AM-10:00 AM, Room 18

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