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Test of Supercell Propagation Theory Using Data from VORTEX 95

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## Test of Supercell Propagation Theory Using Data from VORTEX 95

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**Test of Supercell Propagation Theory Using Data from VORTEX**95 Huaqing Cai NCAR/ASP/ATD**Test of Supercell Propagation Theory Using Data from VORTEX**95 • Research Motivation and Objectives • Data and Methodology • Results • Summary**Schematic Plan View of an Idealized Supercell as Viewed by**Radar Hook Echo**Which direction is the storm moving ?**Pure Advection Mean Wind**Burgess, Master Thesis, 1974**Left Mover Right Mover Storm Split & Propagation Hodograph**Illustration of Hodograph**V Straight Hodograph Upper Level Surface u V Upper Level Curved Hodograph Surface u**ADV VPGF BUOY**Linear Nonlinear Buoyancy**Environmental Wind**Motion Produced by the Storm Hodograph**Illustration of Linear Effect**W>0 W<0 Upshear Downshear W<0 W>0**Rotunno and Klemp, MWR, 1982**- Shear + Mesocyclones Vector X - X**Hane and Ray, JAS, 1985**Linear Effect 40 dBz L H Shear Vector Storm Relative Flow**LeMone et al, MWR, 1988**L P’(hpa) Wmax H Shear Vector**Findings and Limitations of Past Studies**• The pressure pattern predicted by the linear theory appears to be confirmed • No vertical pressure gradient was obtained by earlier retrievals or aircraft observations • The aircraft observations can only be obtained near the cloud base, there was no direct measurement inside the storm**Research Objectives**• There has been no comprehensive observational test of supercell propagation theory • Try to decompose nonlinear perturbation pressure into nonlinear cyclostrophic and nonlinear shear terms and determine which term is more important for the rightward movement of supercells**Data and Methodology**• The Garden City storm during VORTEX on May 16, 1995 • Dual-Doppler technique • Pressure-buoyancy retrieval technique**Dual-Doppler Technique**Radar 2 Radar 1 3D wind fields can be reconstructed through dual-Doppler technique**What is Special about the Garden City Data Set ?**• High space resolution (300 m along track) • High time resolution ( ~5 minute) • Full coverage of the whole life cycle of the storm**Analysis Procedure of the Garden City Storm**• A total of 11 legs were carefully edited using NCAR software SOLO (~2800 scans) • 3D wind field was obtained using NCAR software REORDER and CEDRIC • Pressure-buoyancy retrievals were performed for each leg using a modified retrieval routine**Shear Vector**Vertical Vorticity Perturbation Pressure**Shear Vector**Linear and Nonlinear Perturbation Pressure Vertical Pressure Gradient**Shear Vector**Linear and Nonlinear Perturbation Pressure Gradient Buoyancy and Advection**Observed Calculated**Vertical Velocity Tendency Using Forward Time Difference Vertical Velocity Tendency Using Vertical Momentum Eq**Nonlinear Cyclostrophic**Perturbation Pressure Nonlinear Shear Perturbation Pressure**Nonlinear Cyclostrophic**Perturbation Pressure Gradient Nonlinear Shear Perturbation Pressure Gradient**Summary and Future Work**• This is the first comprehensive analysis of the perturbation pressure in a severe storm • The nonlinear terms in the pressure equation are important for the straight hodograph case, consistent with past numerical simulations. The importance of the nonlinear shear term has not been shown in the past, this study has shown that the horizontal circulation is as important as the vertical circulation associated with the mesocyclones.**Summary and Future Works (Continued)**• More data will be needed for further verification of supercell propagation theory, especially in a curved-hodograph case