S56 A GIS-Analysis of Tornadogenesis within Hurricanes

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Montana Etten-Bohm, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL

Hurricanes pose many challenges to forecasters, one of those being tornadogenesis within hurricanes. As a hurricane approaches a coast line, land-surface roughness contributes to surface friction, increasing convergence at the surface and vertical motion, and tornadoes can form as a result. The tornadoes produced within a tropical cyclone rely on a variety of factors. Previous studies focused on the location of the tornadoes within the storm relative to the cyclone's speed and direction, the distance from the coast, the distance from the cyclone's center of circulation, time of day, and time from landfall. The purpose of this project is to expand and study the database that contains all land-falling tropical cyclones that produced tornadoes between 1950 and 2007. The research conducted in this study will look at the tornadoes produced between 2008 and 2015 and compare it to the existing database. Between 2008 and 2015, 27 total tropical cyclones indirectly hit the continental US. An indirect hit is when a particular location may experience hurricane force winds or gusts but the tropical cyclone does not necessarily make landfall, which is when the tropical cyclone center of circulation crosses onto land. Twenty of these tropical cyclones made landfall, and 18 of them produced tornadoes. The continuing research will verify or oppose previous studies' findings and focus on the spatial distribution, azimuthal distribution, the intensity of the tornadoes, and time from landfall. This research will also investigate the rainband orientation of the tropical cyclone to the coast when the tropical cyclone makes landfall to see if tornadogenesis is more prominent in one scenario rather than another.
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