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Published on October 7, 2007

Author: Jolene

Source: authorstream.com

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Severe and Unusual Weather ESAS 1115:  Severe and Unusual Weather ESAS 1115 Spotter Training and Radar Meteorology Part 1 – Introduction to Severe Thunderstorms Meteorological Sensors:  Meteorological Sensors Two types of two types of sensors: Remote vs. In-situ Active vs. Passive Our passive eyes can only see features of the storm In order to see the inner workings of a thunderstorm, and to understand it better, we need an active remote sensor – weather radar Radar will allow us to interrogate information about the storm by detecting precipitation and wind information within Convective Hazards Wind, Hail, Floods, Lightning, Tornadoes:  Convective Hazards Wind, Hail, Floods, Lightning, Tornadoes Severe Thunderstorms are Severe:  Severe Thunderstorms are Severe Many times, the media uses the word “severe” when the storm is something less than the actual meaning of “severe”. Severe Thunderstorm Criteria:  Severe Thunderstorm Criteria Hail greater than ¾” in diameter Winds greater than 50 kts (58 mph) Tornadoes Lightning, although posing the greatest threat to life, is not a criterion to determining whether or not a storm is severe Lightning:  Lightning Lightning :  Lightning ~25 million CG lightning strikes per year in the US making it the deadliest aspect of thunderstorms Lightning Safety:  Lightning Safety Lightning Stats Lightning Safety Video Lightning Safety Tips Flash Floods – Turn Around Don’t Drown:  Flash Floods – Turn Around Don’t Drown Water is an incompressible fluid 1000 kg/m3 Results in buoyancy – 2 feet of water can move an SUV Kills more people than lightning – more than 100 annually in the US. Flash flooding vs. river flooding Flash Flood Threat:  Flash Flood Threat Flash Floods – Turn Around - Don’t Drown:  Flash Floods – Turn Around - Don’t Drown Hail – Big Chunks o’ Ice:  Hail – Big Chunks o’ Ice Tarrant County, TX May 5, 1995:  Tarrant County, TX May 5, 1995 10,000 people at Mayfest Baseball hail – 10 miles wide 50 miles long 14 people killed by flooding and collapsed roofs $2 billion (estimated) We Know First Hand:  We Know First Hand Damaging Winds:  Damaging Winds Strong outflow from a thunderstorm enhanced by evaporative cooling and downward momentum transfer Downbursts:  Downbursts A strong and potentially destructive thunderstorm downdraft Microbursts are less than 2.5 miles in diameter Macrobursts are greater than 2.5 miles Rain Foot and Dust Foot:  Rain Foot and Dust Foot Dust Foot:  Dust Foot Microbursts:  Microbursts Aviation Hazards:  Aviation Hazards Danger on Takeoff and Landing:  Danger on Takeoff and Landing On the glide path, too much lift is generated with headwind gain With the loss of a headwind, lift is limited Beaufort Scale:  Beaufort Scale Winds based on visual observations First Microburst:  First Microburst Microburst within a Macroburst:  Microburst within a Macroburst Microbursts:  Microbursts Microburst Evolution:  Microburst Evolution Tornado and Hail Climatology:  Tornado and Hail Climatology There are more than 1000 tornadoes in the US per year. Hail results in over $1 billion of damage annually. Harold Brooks - NSSL Tornado Threats:  Tornado Threats Violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground and pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud (thunderstorm) Tornadoes are ranked on the Enhanced Fujita damage scale: from EF0-EF5 Appearance is deceiving with small tornadoes sometimes having high destruction potential and large tornadoes having low potential EF0, EF1 – Weak Tornadoes:  EF0, EF1 – Weak Tornadoes Approximately 70% of tornadoes are in this category Well-built houses offer adequate safety for these tornadoes Cars and mobile homes are still very vulnerable to these tornadoes Wind speeds: 65 – 110 mph EF2, EF3 – Strong Tornadoes:  EF2, EF3 – Strong Tornadoes Approximately 28% of all tornadoes are considered strong Well-built houses will be severely damaged but still can provide adequate life-protection Wind speeds: 111 – 165 mph EF4, EF5 – Violent Tornadoes:  EF4, EF5 – Violent Tornadoes Only 2% of all tornadoes are violent Will completely level a well-built house The last F5 to hit the US was May 3, 1999 in Oklahoma Wind speeds: 166 - >200 mph Rating a Tornado:  Rating a Tornado Wind Damage vs Tornado Damage:  Wind Damage vs Tornado Damage Microburst Damage is divergent Large or diffuse area No signs of rotation Tornado Damage is convergent Narrow path Rotation about vertical axis Swirl Marks:  Swirl Marks

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