Synoptic thermodynamic shear setting
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Synoptic, Thermodynamic, Shear Setting. May 7, 2002 Tornadic Thunderstorm in Southwestern Kansas Michele Blazek May 15, 2005. Synoptic Setting – What to look for. Warm advection Found through height changes and the sounding Moist air advection into the jet stream Deep layer shear

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Synoptic, Thermodynamic, Shear Setting

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Synoptic thermodynamic shear setting

Synoptic, Thermodynamic, Shear Setting

May 7, 2002 Tornadic Thunderstorm in Southwestern Kansas

Michele Blazek

May 15, 2005


Synoptic setting what to look for

Synoptic Setting – What to look for

  • Warm advection

    • Found through height changes and the sounding

    • Moist air advection into the jet stream

  • Deep layer shear

    • Approximated using the difference in the wind vectors between the surface (surface chart) and 500 mb

    • Sustains the development of storm

  • Low level shear -

    • Must be strong enough even with deep layer shear to sustain a supercell


500 mb wind direction speed

500 mb Wind Direction/Speed

Note the area in SW Kansas

with just east of the trough in the rockies,

ageostrophic winds in

Central Kansas and significant

favorable deep layer shear -

50 kt or 5.0 E-3 /s

500 mb Chart 00 UTC 08 May 2002, Observations

Heights, Temperatures


Mesoscale surface chart

Mesoscale Surface Chart

Note location just east of the low and dryline and just north of the area of warm, wet advection


Satellite imagery what to look for

Satellite Imagery – what to look for

  • Presence of Cumuloform formations - especially cumulonimbus anvils (CBA)

  • Continued development of these anvils


Visible satellite

Note the overshooting cumulonimbus anvils in Central Kansas

Visible Satellite

2145 UTC 07 May 2002 Visible Image UCAR


Visible satellite kansas

Note the developing overshooting cumulonimbus anvil expanding from S Central Kansas to the Northeast of the State

Visible Satellite - Kansas

2315 UTC 07 May 2002 Visible Image UCAR


Thermodynamics what to look for

Thermodynamics – what to look for

  • Presence of CAPE

  • Possibility of CAPE developing throughout the day

  • Advection of high dew-point air north to the jet stream

  • Winds directions and shear


Shear what to look for

Shear – what to look for

  • Hodograph

    • Shape of hodograph - curved hodograph - possible supercell

    • Storm Relative Helicity spin due to vertical shear (curved hodograph)

      • SREH > 150 tornadoes

      • SREH> 250 F2, F3

    • Storm Motion

  • Shear

    • Deep Layer 0-6 Km (500 mb)

      Greater than 35 hts and right angles to winds at 18,000 ft - favorable to midlevel mesocyclone development

    • Shallow Layer


Topeka sounding

Topeka Sounding

Note the curving

Hodograph

Indicates

Storm relative

Helicity from

0-3 km!

Note

Huge shear

69 kt - 6.9 E-3/s

And helicity

0-1 km 445 m2/s2

0-3 km 690 m2/s2

Shotgun Sounding – Significant CAPE as

As day progresses!


Oklahoma city sounding

Oklahoma City Sounding

The shape of the hodograph suggests some SREH.

Significant CAPE

Note the CAPE of over 4000 J/kg.

The deep shear is 49 kt. - 4.9E-3/s. Low level shear is smaller than Topeka.


Radar reflectivity

Radar Reflectivity

Look at the hook!

Note the supercell on radar and the split from 6:47 to 7:07 pm near

Dodge City, May 7, 2002


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