The 6 May 2010 Elevated Supercell During VORTEX2

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Christopher W. MacIntosh, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; and M. D. Parker

Convection over statically stable boundary layers (i.e., elevated convection) occurs over much of the United States, producing heavy rainfall, hail, and occasionally severe surface winds. Much of the current literature on elevated convective storms concerns those of a linear morphology; studies of elevated supercells are largely absent. Elevated supercells present an operational challenge because they look similar to surface-based storms on radar, which can lead forecasters to issue warnings for severe winds and tornadoes that are not likely to verify. However, both tornadoes and severe winds do seem to occur in a handful of supercells that are believed to be elevated, with the reasons behind their formation currently unknown. To further understand the governing dynamics, an elevated supercell case from the second Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2) on 6 May 2010 is being investigated. VORTEX2 measurements provide an unprecedented dataset that includes radar data from Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) and Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radar (SMART-R) mobile radars, surface mobile mesonets, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) observations. Additionally, we are undertaking idealized modeling with CM1 using a sounding from this case in an attempt to understand the processes behind the generation, maintenance, and severe weather production of such elevated supercells. Results from both parts of this study will be presented.