UIUC ATMS 100 - Supercell Thunderstorms (3 pages)

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Supercell Thunderstorms

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Supercell Thunderstorms


Brief overview of supercell thunderstorms, their environments, components, and types.

Lecture number:
Lecture Note
University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign
Atms 100 - Introduction to Meteorology
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Lecture 24 Outline of Last Lecture I Thunderstorm Hazards II What is Lightning III Lightning Bolt IV Charge Separation V Types of Lightning VI Cloud to Ground Lightning VII Sheet Lightning VIII Lightning Stroke IX Lightning and Thunder X Positive Polarity Stroke XI Lightning Safety XII What is Hail XIII Lage Hail Hail XIV Hail Layers XV Flood Statistics XVI Types of Floods XVII Flash Floods XVIII Widespread Floods XIX Flood Safety Outline of Current Lecture ATMS 100 1st Edition XX What is a Supercell XXI Hook Echo XXII Supercell Structure XXIII Supercell Envrionments XXIV Outbreak Summary XXV Supercell Components XXVI Mesocyclone XXVII Supercell Rotation XXVIII Wall Cloud XXIX Mammatus Clouds XXX Forward Flank Downdraft XXXI Rear Flank Downdraft XXXII Types of Supercells Current Lecture XXXIII What is a Supercell a Supercell thunderstorms are long lived rotating thunderstorm cells i can last for hours ii often isolated iii always rotate b supercells are the strongest and most rare types of thunderstorms i almost always sevre ii produce hail golfball sized and larger iii produce nearly all violent tornadoes XXXIV Hook Echo a left right side of nomenclature b may see hook echo on right rear flank of storm i indicative of rotation ii often associated with tornadoes iii precipitation particles rotate around mesocyclone iv first hook echo spotted UI on May 23rd 1953 XXXV Supercell Structure a precipitation forms b strong winds aloft blow precipitation away from updraft c precipitation falls downwind of updraft forms foward flank downdraft d heaviest precipitation falls adjacent to updraft XXXVI Supercell Envrionments a Strong vertical Wind Shear i winds change speed and or direction with height ii supercells will not rotate without it b Low level jet i strong winds from south around 850 mb 1 mile ii provides low level shear c Jet Stream Aloft i strong westerly flow d Instability i warm moist air at surface ii cold air aloft e Trigger i front dryline or outflow boundary ii trough in jet stream to west upper level divergence XXXVII Outbreak Summary a 190 tornadoes i super outbreak 4 3 4 74 148 tornadoes confirmed b 354 deaths 249 in AL c Super Outbreak 315 330 deaths d OKC Bombing 4 19 95 168 deaths e Video Tuscaloosa AL Tower Cam FOX 9 39 XXXVIII Supercell Components a Updraft b Mesocyclone c Wall Cloud d Anvil e Forward flank downdraft FFD f Rear Flank Downdraft RFD g Gust Fronts XXXIX Mesocyclone a persistent rotating updraft XL Supercell Rotation a air rotates about horizontal axis due to vertical wind shear b updraft tilts this rotation into vertical XLI Wall Cloud a a wall cloud is a lowered cloud beneath the updraft base b updraft ingests air with higher relative humidty lower LCL from down draft regions c a rotating wall clouds indicates that a tornado may form XLII Mammatus Clouds a mammatus clouds are sometimes seen hanginf from the anvil of thunderstorms XLIII Forward Flank Downdraft a contains heavy rain strong winds and large hail b visibility limited XLIV Rear Flank Downdraft a visually the RFD appears as a clear slot near the updraft base b can sometimes see clear slot wrapping around the updraft this is the RFD c Why i XLV Types of Supercells a Classic Supercells i little rain near updraft significant precipitation within foward flank ii prolific tornado producers b High Precipitation HP Supercells i significant precipitation near updraft c Low Precipitation LP Supercells i little precipitation everywhere ii narrow updraft towers

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