92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Sunday, 22 January 2012
Evaluation of the Mesoscale Convective Vortex and Heavy Flooding of August 11-12, 2010
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Adam Joseph Picard, Central Michigan University, Richland, MI

On August 9, 2010, a mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) formed over Iowa. This MCV proceeded to decay and redevelop over Lake Michigan, generating a storm that moved over Mount Pleasant, MI. This storm caused four million dollars in damage to Central Michigan University. The MCV then moved off, decaying, and then redeveloping over Pennsylvania.

This study has two goals. The first is to identify if the MCV in question is a typical MCV. The synoptic environment shows development in an area of 500 mb ridging with a shortwave upstream. A nocturnal 850 mb low-level jet assisted in the formation of convection that resulted in the MCV over Iowa. Potential Vorticity (PV) analysis shows the development of a positive PV anomaly at 600 mb in association with the MCV. This storm developed along the outflow boundary of the MCV, maintained itself while crossing Lake Michigan, and intensified over Mount Pleasant. This storm exhibited a unique structure with rotation influencing the echo training that resulted in heavy rain. Precipitable Water over Mount Pleasant at the time of the storm showed values maximizing at 2.24 inches, above the 99th percentile climatological average.

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