Research

I have created this new section for a couple of reasons. I will use this section to work on several projects (some nearing completion and some just initiated. Some will have explanatory text and some will be just maps, radar images and other data.  By having this section linked from other more public areas of the website, I will permit others to look in on what I am working on.



Research: Extreme right-deviating tornadic supercells in Texas:

This topic almost automatically makes one think of the 1997 storm system that spawned the F-5 tornado at Jarrell. That storm formed in an environment characterized by very high CAPE, weak low-level winds, and only moderate mid-level flow. Until the Jarrell event, the "book" on severe storms held that weak low-level winds and moderate mid-level flow were insufficient to generate supercell storms and more specifically, large, devastating tornadoes. Of course, the "book" (if there had been one) would have been full of asterisks leading to mentions of all sorts of exceptions and possibilities.

For example, it had been known for several decades that supercell storm motion was a combination of advection by the mean wind (calculated through some layer of the troposphere) and of propagation (meaning storm regeneration on a flank of the storm where inflow of moist and unstable air was maximized). [references omitted] Interestingly, in 1999 and again in 2000, supercell storms in central Texas occurring in environments of high to extreme CAPE, demonstrated the capacity to generate significant tornadoes while moving far to the right of the mean wind. This is one area of research that deserves additional attention. What follows is but a beginning.



May 11, 1999:

A supercell storm developed over San Saba and Llano counties, then moved to the south-southwest, producing two very damaging tornadoes: near Castell and Loyal Valley (on the Llano-Mason county line), a very large tornado caused at least one fatality and produced damage rated F4. The same storm system propagated southward into western Gillespie County and produced another tornado at Harper. F3 damage occurred, with the town heavily damaged. Some observers believe that the storm system continued producing tornadoes after it departed Gillespie County, but the system was over a very sparsely populated area and no other tornadoes were confirmed.



For a loop of KSJT nexrad (0.5 deg base reflectivity) showing evolution of deep convective storms from approximately 2:45pm (1945UTC) through 7pm (0000 UTC) click here


KEWX Level 3 images ... (mesocyclones detected by algorithm in red, 3-D coordinated shear in gold); click on any individual base reflectivity image for the corresponding storm-relative velocity image:


KEWX 2203UTC




KEWX 2209UTC



KEWX 2215UTC



KEWX 2221UTC


KEWX 2225UTC



KEWX 2231UTC



KEWX 2237UTC



KEWX 2244UTC



KEWX 2250UTC



KEWX 2254UTC



KEWX 2302UTC


KEWX 2308UTC




KEWX 2313UTC



KEWX 2319UTC



KEWX 2325UTC



KEWX 2331UTC



KEWX 2337UTC



KEWX 2343UTC



KEWX 2348UTC



KEWX 2354UTC



KEWX 0000UTC


KEWX 0007UTC


KEWX 0013UTC



KEWX 0019UTC



KEWX 0025UTC



KEWX 0030UTC



KEWX 0036UTC



KEWX 0051UTC



KEWX 0057UTC



KEWX 0102UTC



KEWX 0108UTC



KEWX 0114UTC



KEWX 0120UTC



KEWX 0126UTC

Day-1 SPC Convective Outlooks:


Day-1 Outlook issued at 6 UTC ... yellow shading is moderate risk.




Day-1 Outlook issued at 13 UTC ... yellow shading is moderate risk.



Day-1 Outlook issued at 1630 UTC ... yellow shading is moderate risk.


Day-1 Outlook issued at 20 UTC ... yellow shading is moderate risk.

===

My hand analyzed maps (in real time) on 5-11-99:



Shaded areas are Td; 3-hour SLP change in tenths of mb plotted lower right of stations circles.



Dark shading is Td; pale green shading is 2-hour SLP change of < 0.5 mb
2-hour SLP change in tenths of mb plotted lower right of stations circles.



Dark shaded contours are Td; pale green shading is 4-hour SLP change of < 0.5 mb
4-hour SLP change in tenths of mb plotted lower right of stations circles.

May 12, 2000:

Supercell storms developed over central Texas northwest of Waco as a cold front advanced into the IH-35 corridor. A portion of the NCDC description of the event follows: A tornado formed over the central part of Lake Whitney at approximately 1610 CST. The tornado moved south and dissipated near the dam at 1625 CST. The tornado caused two deaths, both of which occurred in the same home, but no other injuries. The most significant damaged occurred at the Lakewood Harbor Subdivision, three miles northwest of the Dam, around 1615 CST. Thirty-eight homes were destroyed and 27 others were damaged. The most severe damage was rated F3.

The parent storm continued to develop on the south flank, resulting in a long lived wall cloud that moved south through southern Bosque, western McLennan, eastern Coryell, and western Bell counties. While reports of hail and funnels continued through the life of the storm, no additional tornadoes were confirmed.

(click on any individual base reflectivity image for the corresponding storm-relative velocity image)



KFWS 2105 UTC



KFWS 2111 UTC



KFWS 2117 UTC



KFWS 2123 UTC



KFWS 2128 UTC



KFWS 2133 UTC



KFWS 2138 UTC



KFWS 2143 UTC



KFWS 2148 UTC



KFWS 2152 UTC



KFWS 2157 UTC



KFWS 2202 UTC



KFWS 2207 UTC



KFWS 2212 UTC



KFWS 2217 UTC



KFWS 2222 UTC



KFWS 2227 UTC



KFWS 2232 UTC



KFWS 2237 UTC



KFWS 2242 UTC



KFWS 2247 UTC



KFWS 2252 UTC



KFWS 2257 UTC