Thermodynamic Conditions Associated with Significant Tornadoes in the High Plains Region

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
Tyler Keith Croan, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Highlands Ranch, CO

The majority of the tornadoes that occur in the High Plains tend to be relatively short lived and weak. While significant tornadoes are rare across the high plains, they do occur in this region and pose a significant risk to an area of increasing population density. As the population of the High Plains continues to expend, the threat presented by significant tornadoes in the region will only continue to increase. The purpose of this study is to examine and determine thermodynamic conditions that are associated with the occurrence of significant tornadoes in the High Plains Region of the continental United States. To achieve this research, a database of derived soundings from the Rapid Update Cycle model will be used to determine the mean values for thermodynamic parameters associated with significant tornadoes. These calculated mean values will then be compared to the values of thermodynamic parameters associated with the occurrence of significant tornadoes across the United States, in order to better understand the High Plains environment that is conducive to the occurrence of significant tornadoes.