UIUC ATMS 100 - Thunderstorm Complexes (3 pages)

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Thunderstorm Complexes

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Thunderstorm Complexes


Brief overview of downbursts and mesoscale structure and development.

Lecture number:
Lecture Note
University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign
Atms 100 - Introduction to Meteorology
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Lecture 22 Outline of Last Lecture I Thunderstorms II Thunderstorm Ingredients Instability III Thunderstorm Ingredients Trigger IV Trigger Front or Dryline V Trigger Sea Breeze Lake Breeze VI Trigger Mountains VII Thunderstorm Ingredients VIII Severe Thunderstorms IX Types of Thunderstorms X Ordinary Thunderstorms XI Ordinary Thunderstorms Stage Development XII Cumulus Stage XIII Mature Stage XIV Outflow XV Dissipation Stage Outline of Current Lecture XVI XVII What is a Downburst Downburst Formation ATMS 100 1st Edition XVIII Straight Line Winds XIX Wind Damage XX Mesoscale Convective XXI MCS Lifecycle XXII Stratiform Precipiation XXIII MCS Dissipation XXIV MCS Structure XXV MCS Structure Updraft XXVI MCS Structure Rear Inflow Jet XXVII Vertical Wind Shear XXVIII The Role of Wind Shear XXIX Shelf Cloud XXX Bow Echoes Current Lecture XXXI What is a Downburst i a downburst is a strong updraft that comes in contact with the ground 1 sinking air must be colder than the air around it ii microbursts are smaller and often more intense downbursts XXXII Downburst Formation a rain drags air downward with it b rain falls into unsaturated air and evaporates i cooling the air ii cold air sinks c downbursts can sink as fast as 40 50 mph i aviation hazard XXXIII Straight Line Winds a straight line winds often result after downburst reaches the ground b straight line winds are intense winds blowing in the same direction over an area i different from a tornado because winds in tornadoes rotate c straight line winds can reach 100 mph d all the debris fall in the same direction XXXIV Mesoscale Convective a abbreviated MCS b an MCS is a large complex of thunderstorms i can cover an entire state c produce a lot of rainfall i important for the agricultural midwest d hazards include flooding straight line winds and the occasional weak tornado XXXV MCS Lifecycle a an MCS generally begins as a cluster of scattered thunderstorms b new thunderstorms initiate along the gust of fronts of the existing thunderstorms i convergence c the cold pools of the thunderstorms eventually merge d the resultant gust front forms a line i linear lifting ii results in line of thunderstorms XXXVI Stratiform Precipiation a region of stratiform precipitation develops behind the line of thunderstorms b size sorting of precipitation particles high in the atmosphere important XXXVII MCS Dissipation a the gust front outruns thunderstorms no lift storms become surrounded by cold air b MCS moves into stable air mass no instability CAPE XXXVIII MCS Structure a convective zone i line of thunderstorms behind gust front ii heavy rain strong gusty winds iii main squall line on image b straiform region i large area of light to moderate rain found behind convective zone XXXIX MCS Structure Updraft a warm moist air ascends and moves from front to rear of system i precipitation forms within the updraft ii also called front to rear flow iii new cells form at gust front XL MCS Structure Rear Inflow Jet a also called outflow boundary b boundary between warm and cold air at front of system c may appear as fine line on radar d new cells initiate due to convergence at gust front e rain falls into cool dry air near rear of system i evaportation cools this air ii air descends eventually reaching surface iii called rear inflow jet XLI Vertical Wind Shear a vertical wind shear is important to the development and maintenance of thunderstorm complexrs b prevents gust front from moving too far in front of updrafts i storms choke on own cold air c shear generates more lift at gust front i better chance of forming new thunderstorms XLII The Role of Wind Shear a Gust front stays close to thunderstorms and provides more lift b if gust front outruns thunderstorms thunderstorms dissipate XLIII Shelf Cloud a warm air lifted at gust front rises forms shelf cloud XLIV Bow Echoes a known for producing prolific wind damage b thunderstorms shape of bow i think of bow and arrow c espeically intense bow echoes that affect a large area are known as derechoes

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