During the Rivers of Vorticity in Supercells (RiVorS) project in the spring of 2017, a suite of instrumentation was used to observe these baroclinic zones and vorticity rivers in supercells. One of the Texas Tech Ka band radars was used to capture RHIs from the RFD through the forward flank of a supercell at high resolution (0.33 degree beamwidth). Five datasets were gathered during this project including one tornadic case.
On June 12, 2017 a tornadic supercell was observed northeast of Cheyenne, Wyoming. A sector of RHIs was gathered continuously for around 30 minutes from tornadogenesis through tornado decay on this storm. Prior to storm initiation, a mobile observed sounding was launched from NSSL’s P1 mobile mesonet to sample the pre-convective environment. Using this observed sounding, a supercell was simulated using CM1. Simulated RHIs in the simulated storm are compared to the observed RHIs showing areas of broad horizontal vorticity near the surface. The simulated storm is also visualized with VAPOR to show the SVC present. Using NSSLs mobile mesonet observations through the forward flank, the association of horizontal virtual potential temperature with these resolved areas of vorticity will be discussed. These observations will be contrasted with those of a non-tornadic RiVorS case to give a more complete understanding of the SVC, and its effect on low-level mesocyclone development and tornadogenesis.