4.1 Calling All Scales of Motion! An Overview of the Tornado Outbreak in Oklahoma on 9 May 2016

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 3:30 PM
2AB (Washington State Convention Center )
Howard B. Bluestein, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and D. W. Reif and Z. B. Weinhoff

On 9 May 2016, tornadic supercells formed along the dryline in north-central and south-central Oklahoma. In the spirit of Lance Bosart’s lifetime interest in the physics of synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, in forecasting, and in “appreciating” extreme weather events, the relationship of storm formation to synoptic and mesoscale features and forcing will be detailed. The evolution and organization of the storms on the mesoscale based on WSR-88D data and satellite imagery will be described. We will attempt to answer the question, is it possible to understand, on the basis of mesoscale analyses, why tornadic storms formed in certain sections of the dryline, but not in others.

On the storm scale, data from a mobile, rapid-scale, polarimetric Doppler radar (RaXPol) will be shown. Within a mesocyclone in a supercell near Sulphur, OK, a tornado with windspeeds of ~ 100 m s-1 were measured at very close range.

Finally, the ability of convection-allowing models to predict the outbreak will be assessed.

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