S51 Radar Analysis of the May, 26 2016 Brazos Valley Tornadoes

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Jackson Milton, Texas A&M University, Friendswood, TX; and E. K. Boynton, D. Grabbs Jr., E. A. Smith, D. Bonnette, D. W. Koeritzer, and C. Nowotarski

On May 26, 2016 a severe weather event occurred over the Brazos Valley. In addition to heavy rainfall, there was an EF-1 tornado in Bryan, TX, as well as EF-1 and EF-2 tornadoes in Navasota, TX. Despite forecasting for tornadoes in the central plains, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) did not forecast for tornadoes in the Brazos Valley. These events were located at a relatively long range from the nearest NEXRAD WSR 88Ds.  The study will analyze the evolution of environmental conditions to understand why the event was poorly forecasted. Additionally, this study will utilize close range radar data from the S-Band Aggie Doppler Radar (ADRAD) to analyze the characteristics and evolution of the storm that produced the Navasota tornadoes.  The study will use observations to identify the synoptic and mesoscale conditions that led to the event. The ADRAD data will be compared to the NWS storm reports and damage surveys to locate and match any potential tornado vortex signatures with the tornado tracks.  Finally, as part of the Student Operate ADRAD Project (SOAP), ADRAD data is now publicly available. The value of this new resource to nowcast future severe weather events will be discussed.
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