A Comparison between the Only Two Documented Tornado Outbreak Events in China: Tropical Cyclone versus Extratropical Cyclone Environments

Jingyi Wen aDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, and China Meteorological Administration Tornado Key Laboratory, Peking University, Beijing, China

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Zhiyong Meng aDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, and China Meteorological Administration Tornado Key Laboratory, Peking University, Beijing, China

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Lanqiang Bai bChina Meteorological Administration Tornado Key Laboratory and Foshan Tornado Research Center, CMA, and Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Guangdong, China

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Ruilin Zhou cChongqing Research Institute of Big Data, Peking University, Chongqing, China
dKey Laboratory of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China

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Abstract

This study documents the features of tornadoes, their parent storms, and the environments of the only two documented tornado outbreak events in China. The two events were associated with Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yagi on 12 August 2018 with 11 tornadoes and with an extratropical cyclone (EC) on 11 July 2021 (EC 711) with 13 tornadoes. Most tornadoes in TC Yagi were spawned from discrete minisupercells, while a majority of tornadoes in EC 711 were produced from supercells imbedded in QLCSs or cloud clusters. In both events, the high-tornado-density area was better collocated with the K index rather than MLCAPE, and with entraining rather than non-entraining parameters possibly due to their sensitivity to midlevel moisture. EC 711 had a larger displacement between maximum entraining CAPE and vertical wind shear than TC Yagi, with the maximum entraining CAPE better collocated with the high-tornado-density area than vertical wind shear. Relative to TC Yagi, EC 711 had stronger entraining CAPE, 0–1-km storm relative helicity, 0–6-km vertical wind shear, and composite parameters such as an entraining significant tornado parameter, which caused its generally stronger tornado vortex signatures (TVSs) and mesocyclones with a larger diameter and longer life span. No significant differences were found in the composite parameter of these two events from U.S. statistics. Although obvious dry air intrusions were observed in both events, no apparent impact was observed on the potential of tornado outbreak in EC 711. In TC Yagi, however, the dry air intrusion may have helped tornado outbreak due to cloudiness erosion and thus the increase in surface temperature and low-level lapse rate.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Zhiyong Meng, zymeng@pku.edu.cn

Abstract

This study documents the features of tornadoes, their parent storms, and the environments of the only two documented tornado outbreak events in China. The two events were associated with Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yagi on 12 August 2018 with 11 tornadoes and with an extratropical cyclone (EC) on 11 July 2021 (EC 711) with 13 tornadoes. Most tornadoes in TC Yagi were spawned from discrete minisupercells, while a majority of tornadoes in EC 711 were produced from supercells imbedded in QLCSs or cloud clusters. In both events, the high-tornado-density area was better collocated with the K index rather than MLCAPE, and with entraining rather than non-entraining parameters possibly due to their sensitivity to midlevel moisture. EC 711 had a larger displacement between maximum entraining CAPE and vertical wind shear than TC Yagi, with the maximum entraining CAPE better collocated with the high-tornado-density area than vertical wind shear. Relative to TC Yagi, EC 711 had stronger entraining CAPE, 0–1-km storm relative helicity, 0–6-km vertical wind shear, and composite parameters such as an entraining significant tornado parameter, which caused its generally stronger tornado vortex signatures (TVSs) and mesocyclones with a larger diameter and longer life span. No significant differences were found in the composite parameter of these two events from U.S. statistics. Although obvious dry air intrusions were observed in both events, no apparent impact was observed on the potential of tornado outbreak in EC 711. In TC Yagi, however, the dry air intrusion may have helped tornado outbreak due to cloudiness erosion and thus the increase in surface temperature and low-level lapse rate.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Zhiyong Meng, zymeng@pku.edu.cn
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