The 20 May Newcastle-Moore, Oklahoma EF-5 Tornado: High Temporal Resolution Observations Using the PX-1000 Polarimetric X-band Radar

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
James M. Kurdzo, Advanced Radar Research Center/University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and B. L. Cheong, D. J. Bodine, and R. D. Palmer

On 20 May 2013, Newcastle and Moore, Oklahoma were impacted by an EF-5 tornado, which spanned a 27 km path, with a maximum damage path width of 2 km. Throughout the lifetime of the parent supercell, tornadogenesis, multiple rear flank downdraft surges, and finally tornadic dissipation, the Advanced Radar Research Center's PX-1000 radar was collecting data at one elevation every 20 s at ranges as close as 10 km from the tornado. The PX-1000 is a transportable, solid-state, polarimetric X-band radar platform which operates at 100 Watts on each channel and utilizes the concept of pulse compression in order to achieve high sensitivity and range resolution. With 20-s temporal resolution, numerous key features were observed throughout the lifetime of the tornado. Discussions regarding vorticity ingestion, polarimetric signatures including tornadic debris signatures, and the effect of an extremely rapid rear flank downdraft surge during an occlusion cycle are presented. A comparison between these features and the NWS damage survey is focused on, and some remarks regarding the use of advanced waveforms in high Doppler velocity situations are made. Finally, initial dual-Doppler results are presented.