School of Meteorology (Defense)

Rawinsonde Observations of Supercell-Environment Interactions

Andrew Wade

School of Meteorology

21 November 2016, 1:30 PM

National Weather Center, Room 5820
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

The Mesoscale Predictability Experiment (MPEX) in 2013 and Mini-MPEX in 2016 used mobile soundings to observe the near-storm environments of springtime Great Plains convection. Together, the projects collected over 100 soundings in supercell inflow environments. To explore possible storm-induced changes to the inflow environment, close-range soundings in the near inflow of supercells were compared to near-simultaneous background soundings released farther away. Several VORTEX2 soundings supplement the MPEX/Mini-MPEX dataset, resulting in 28 near-far inflow pairs from a wide variety of tornadic and nontornadic supercells. Composite soundings were created for the near- and far-field subsets, as well as tornadic and nontornadic subsets.

A brief synopsis of Mini-MPEX upsonde operations is presented. Low-level thermodynamic and kinematic variables in the near and distant inflow are compared. Composite skew-Ts and hodographs are used to illuminate differences between near and far inflow soundings, as well as between tornadic and nontornadic cases, particularly in terms of low-level stability and near-field hodograph enhancement. Finally, unique observations from individual MPEX and Mini-MPEX cases are discussed in the context of the near-field/far-field comparison.

School of Meteorology (Defense) Seminar Series website