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A Study of Upper Air Parameters at the Time of Tornadoes

Clarence L. DavidNational Severe Storms Forecast Center, Kansas City, Mo. 64106

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Abstract

An objective analysis routine was used to obtain the values of selected upper air parameters at the location and time of tornadoes. Parameters used were the temperature, dew point, wind direction and wind speed for the 850 mb, 700 mb, 500 mb levels, the 200 mb wind direction and wind speed, the mean mixing ratio in the lowest 100 mb layer, the tropopause temperature and pressure, and the 500–850 mb thickness. Some computed stability indices are also presented; these are the Showalter Index, Total-Totals Index, and the Air Force Sweat Index. Tables are presented giving the average value and the standard deviation for each of the parameters by states and by months. Similar information is presented for the longer track tornadoes and they are compared with very short track tornadoes.

Abstract

An objective analysis routine was used to obtain the values of selected upper air parameters at the location and time of tornadoes. Parameters used were the temperature, dew point, wind direction and wind speed for the 850 mb, 700 mb, 500 mb levels, the 200 mb wind direction and wind speed, the mean mixing ratio in the lowest 100 mb layer, the tropopause temperature and pressure, and the 500–850 mb thickness. Some computed stability indices are also presented; these are the Showalter Index, Total-Totals Index, and the Air Force Sweat Index. Tables are presented giving the average value and the standard deviation for each of the parameters by states and by months. Similar information is presented for the longer track tornadoes and they are compared with very short track tornadoes.

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